DoD 2018.A STTR Solicitation
NOTE: The Solicitations and topics listed on this site are copies from the various SBIR agency solicitations and are not necessarily the latest and most up-to-date. For this reason, you should use the agency link listed below which will take you directly to the appropriate agency server where you can read the official version of this solicitation and download the appropriate forms and rules.
The official link for this solicitation is: https://www.acq.osd.mil/osbp/sbir/solicitations/index.shtml
Application Due Date:
Available Funding Topics
- AF18A-T001: Detection of Radio Frequency and Magnetic Field Bioeffects in Living Cells
- AF18A-T002: Autonomous Self-Calibration of Sensing Systems and Instrumentation
- AF18A-T003: Integrated ultra-high performance electro-optic modulators
- AF18A-T004: Multi-Physics Models for Parachute Deployment and Braking
- AF18A-T005: Metasurface Photonics
- AF18A-T006: Volumetric Wavefront Sensing for the Characterization of Distributed-Volume Aberrations
- AF18A-T007: Full Mueller Matrix Characterization of Imaged Samples using Digital Holography
- AF18A-T008: Stable High Bandwidth AO Control with physical DM constraints
- AF18A-T009: Modern Manufacturing for Liquid Rocket Engine Components
- AF18A-T010: Reconfigurable / cognitive optical communications
- AF18A-T011: Passive Cathode Device for Space Plasma Applications
- AF18A-T012: Damage Morphology for Advanced Concretes
- AF18A-T013: High Temperature Materials for Hypersonic Radomes and Antennas
- AF18A-T014: Application of Hierarchical Memory Models to Automatic Target Recognition Modeling and Simulation
- AF18A-T015: Radio Frequency (RF) Filter Tuning Element
- AF18A-T016: High damage threshold antireflective treatment for infrared nonlinear materials
- AF18A-T017: Next Generation Infrared Scene Projector for Testing MWIR Systems
- CBD18A-001: Circulating Diagnostic Markers of Infectious Disease
- CBD18A-002: Marburg Virus Prophylactic Medical Countermeasure
- DHP18A-001: Brain Targeting Nanoparticle for Drug Delivery in Traumatic Brain Injury
- DLA18A-001: Additive Manufacturing Sensor Fusion Technologies for Process Monitoring and Control.
- N18A-T001: Cooling System for Laser Enclosure
- N18A-T002: Detection Rate Improvements Through Understanding and Modeling Ocean Variability
- N18A-T003: Repurposing Computational Analyses of Tactics for Training Assessments
- N18A-T004: Next-Generation, Power-Electronics Materials for Naval Aviation Applications
- N18A-T005: Innovative Processing Techniques for Additive Manufacture of 7000 Series Aluminum Alloy Components
- N18A-T006: Non-Destructive Concrete Interrogator and Strength of Materials Correlator
- N18A-T007: Detect and Avoid Certification Environment for Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAVs)
- N18A-T008: Additive Manufacturing for Naval Aviation Battery Applications
- N18A-T009: Situational Awareness for Mission Critical Ship Systems
- N18A-T010: In Situ Marine-Grade Aluminum Alloy Characterization for Sensitization Resistance and Stress Corrosion Cracking Prediction
- N18A-T011: Non-Destructive Evaluation (NDE) of Missile Launcher Ablatives
- N18A-T012: New Integrated Total Design of Unmanned Underwater Vehicles (UUVs) Propulsion System Architecture for Higher Efficiency and Low Noise
- N18A-T013: Effects of Defects within Metal Additive Manufacturing Systems
- N18A-T014: Advanced Ship-handling Simulators
- N18A-T015: Combatant Craft Health Monitoring System
- N18A-T016: Analysis and Application of Treatments to Mitigate Exfoliation Corrosion (Delamination) of 5XXX Series Aluminum
- N18A-T017: Temperature Sensing Submarine ISR Buoy / Surface Ship Sensor Tow Cable
- N18A-T018: Protocol Feature Identification and Removal
- N18A-T019: Multi-Layer Mapping of Cyberspace
- N18A-T020: Autonomous Hull Grooming Vehicle
- N18A-T021: Active Imaging through Fog
- N18A-T022: Accurate Flow-Through Conductivity Sensor for Autonomous Systems
- N18A-T023: Operational Sand and Particulate Sensor System for Aircraft Gas Turbine Engines
- N18A-T024: Hybrid Ceramic Matrix Composite/Polymer Matrix Composite (CMC-PMC) Skin Materials
- N18A-T025: Jellyfish-Inspired Profiling Floats
- N18A-T026: Enhanced Lower Cost Tooling for Friction Stir Technologies
- N18A-T027: Naval Internet of Things (IoT) Effectiveness and Efficiency
- N18A-T028: High Throughput Testing of Additive Manufacturing
- NGA18A-001: Algorithms for Look-down Infrared Target Exploitation
- SOCOM18A-001: System for Nighttime and Low-Light Face Recognition
Detection of Radio Frequency and Magnetic Field Bioeffects in Living Cells
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Bio Medical
OBJECTIVE: Develop a system to characterize weak electromagnetic fields for the investigation of the effect of both thermal and non-thermal radio frequency (RF)/magnetic fields on biological material, and determine the resulting biological impact of the energy deposited. The system should be capable of studying the biological impact of these exposure conditions on proteins and living cells. Ultimately, the system should provide measurements for the field at the micron scale. A range of frequencies is of interest and includes 10 MHz - 95 GHz. There is also specific interest in 2.8 GHz.
DESCRIPTION: The sensing of electromagnetic fields (EMF) is important for many diverse applications . Ultrasensitive magnetometers have found a wide range of applications in various communities, from condensed-matter experiments to detection of Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) signals . Other notable application of magnetic field sensors has been in the area of biomagnetism [3, 4], for sensing spatially-resolved activity in the brain and heart. For example, measurements of the magnetic field produced by the brain are used to diagnose epilepsy, and to study neural responses to auditory and visual stimuli . Although there have been recent advances in magnetic field (MF) and radio frequency (RF) in neuroscience and biomagnetism at the cellular level, the field delivered to the biological system (or parts of the system) are rarely known. Dosimetry is determined through thermal mechanisms associated with the absorption of RF/MF energy, producing a measurable temperature rise in tissue. This leads to high levels of uncertainty in the actual dose required to impact biological systems as a function of exposure conditions. What is needed is a system for micro-dosimetry of low level EMF that will enable direct measurement of the field at a precise location allowing for field mapping at the micron scale. Additionally, the measurement should not impact the field, and should also be compatible with biological tissue. New advances in technology have opened doors for novel applications for investigating EMF impacts on biological tissue. As one example, fluorescent nanodiamonds are a promising tool to study electric or magnetic fields with nanometer resolution. Shao et al.  demonstrated a diamond NV-based radio receiver that is capable of transducing frequency modulated (FM) microwave radio signals to amplitude modulated (AM) optical fluorescence signal. Additionally, Ruan et al.  showed a new approach to optical magnetometry based on remote optically detected magnetic resonance from fluorescent nanodiamonds embedded in a tellurite glass optical fiber. Novel EMF sensing is not only applicable to the biomedical community, but also the DoD. There is invested interested in mapping and understanding electromagnetic fields through biological samples, such as real time magnetic field sensing in nerves. Furthermore, understanding small scale effects is critical for advancing EMF sensing technology. With additional improvements in sensitivity, these novel tools can potentially be applicable to NMR-based label-free detection and analysis of single molecules; characterization of structural and conformational changes in systems that are not easily accessible by conventional techniques ; and studies of dynamic phenomena, such as protein folding  and enzyme-substrate interactions at the single-molecule level . For phase I of this topic, no government furnished materials, equipment, data, or facilities will be provided.
PHASE I: Identify and define concepts for instrumentation and software, laboratory testing, modeling and simulation, or comparison to existing technologies, that the system design will meet specifications. Identify areas where the specifications cannot be met within the state-of-the-art. Investigate approaches for promising technology development pathways that will allow improvements beyond the scope of the STTR effort.
PHASE II: Based on the results of Phase I, develop a prototype system for the evaluation by the directed energy bioeffects program. Collaborate with government personnel to test the prototype at a range of frequencies and powers. For collaboration during phase II of this topic, government furnished materials, equipment, data, or facilities may be provided. This scope of this phase will focus on only small scale biological structures. The prototype will be evaluated to determine its capability in meeting the performance goals defined in the Phase II development plan, and the requirements outlined in this description.
PHASE III: Develop a commercial system that can be used for biomedical applications, materials manufacturing, environmental monitoring, as well as general R&D. Other potential users beyond the sponsoring organization include antenna and RF system developers.
1: Ruan, Y., et al., "Remote Nanodiamond Magnetometry." Physics, 2016. https://arxiv.org/abs/1602.06611.
2: Kominis, I.K., Kornack, T.W., Allred, J.C., Romalis, M.V., "A subfemtotesla multichannel atomoc magnetometer." Nature, 2003. 422: p. 596-599.
3: Hamalainen, M. Hari, R., Ilmoniemi, R.J., Knuutila, J., Lounasmaa, O.V., "Magnetoencephalography-theory, instrumentation, and applications to noninvasive studies of the working human brain." Rev. Mod. Phys., 1993. 65: p.413-417.
4: Rodriguez, E., George, N., Lachaux, J.P., Martinerie, J., Renault, B., Varela, F.J., "Perception’s shadow: long-distance synchronization of human brain activity." Nature, 1999. 397: p. 430-433.
KEYWORDS: Radio Frequency, Magnetic Field, Dosimetry, Microdosimetry, Sensing, Biological Effects, Electromagnetics
Autonomous Self-Calibration of Sensing Systems and Instrumentation
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Sensors
OBJECTIVE: Develop autonomous, NIST traceable calibration methods for embedded sensing systems and instruments.
DESCRIPTION: Modern manufacturing processes have led to the production of new aircraft that are closely integrated, making access to instruments more difficult. As this trend continues with the adoption of Digital Engineering and new additive manufacturing methods, future Air Force components and systems will likely become integrated into multi-function material airframes with embedded sensor, electronic, instrument, and network components. Traditional bench level calibration of instruments during maintenance periods may become difficult or impossible, so the Air Force is looking to incorporate calibration standards into future systems and develop methods whereby these systems have autonomous calibration capabilities. NIST traceability is an important factor, and potential proposers are encouraged to consider adopting “NIST on a Chip” calibration products when practical. With a continuing trend toward sensor miniaturization it is likely that arrays of sensors will be contained in airframes, so these calibration processes may include hundreds or even thousands of individual sensors. So in addition to embedding the necessary calibration standards and methodologies, autonomous processes to ensure routine sensor system calibration, ascertain the state of health of individual units and the collective system, maintain calibration records, and supply prognostic and diagnostic services is required. It can be anticipated that such large arrays of miniature embedded sensors will include a number of spares, so retirement of poorly performing units and activation of the best adjacent spare will also be required. As a first step toward developing self-contained, autonomous, NIST traceable sensor calibration capabilities we are looking toward small laboratory demonstrations that can be transitioned to relevant environments quickly. This might be done by adding components to existing wind tunnel test models, to UAVs, or through replacement of access panels on existing aircraft, for example. Initial sensor class selection shall occur during Phase 1, when actual selection will be determined by Air Force suitability and availability of corresponding NIST sources. At least two different sensor types and NIST standards will be integrated into a single system and integral calibration capability shall be demonstrated at the end of Phase 1. During Phase 2 this capability will be extended to include at least one additional sensor class and the number of sensors in the system shall be increased to at least 10 in each class. At the end of Phase 2 this system will be demonstrated and delivered to an Air Force Facility. Demonstration will include autonomous calibration, system health monitoring, and retirement/replacement capabilities.
PHASE I: Initial sensor class selection shall occur during Phase 1, when actual selection will be determined by Air Force suitability and availability of corresponding NIST sources. At least two different sensor types and NIST standards will be integrated into a single system and integral calibration capability shall be demonstrated at the end of Phase 1.
PHASE II: During Phase 2 this capability will be extended to include at least one additional sensor class and the number of sensors in the system shall be increased to at least 10 in each class. At the end of Phase 2 this system will be demonstrated and delivered to an Air Force Facility. Demonstration will include autonomous calibration, system health monitoring, and retirement/replacement capabilities.
PHASE III: In addition to Air Force, DoD, and other government customers such as NASA and the FAA, it is expected that there will be a strong industrial market for similar calibration systems and services.
1: NIST on a Chip: Revolution in Measurement Services …And Measurement Science. Tom O'Brian. Chief, NIST Time and Frequency Division. Chief, NIST www-conf.slac.stanford.edu/lsow/2013-Presentations/TOBrian_NIST-on-a-Chip.pdf
2: Eric J. Tuegel, Pamela Kobryn, Jeffrey V. Zweber, and Raymond M.Kolonay. "Digital Thread and Twin for Systems Engineering: Design toRetirement", 55th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting, AIAA SciTech Forum, (AIAA 2017-0876)http://dx.doi.org/10.2514/6.2017-0876
3: 3. https://ndiastorage.blob.core.usgovcloudapi.net/ndia/2016/systems/18927_Philomenazimmerman.pdf, email@example.com
KEYWORDS: Calibration, NIST, Embedded, Autonomous
Integrated ultra-high performance electro-optic modulators
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Sensors
OBJECTIVE: Develop integrated solutions of electro-optic modulators operating at ultra-high speed and low driving voltage.
DESCRIPTION: The exponential scaling up of communication rates in military platforms, data centers, and short-haul and long-haul telecommunication networks requires the development of an integrated electro-optic modulator platform that promises excellent optical signal integrity, ultra-high bandwidth and low driving voltage. These data networks demand integrated modulator solutions which maintain excellent performance that are orders of magnitude smaller, more cost and energy efficient than conventional, discrete component modulators. Integrated photonic platforms such as silicon (Si) and indium phosphide (InP) photonics have been extensively researched and developed in the past decades resulting in a wide range of optical devices and systems, including modulators, compact filters and wavelength multiplexers; however, the intrinsic material properties of these two platforms are limiting their utility in applications requiring large analog bandwidth and very large coherent data transmission rates (>400 G/channel). These and other emerging applications will require electro-optic modulators with high electro-optic 3dB bandwidth of > 60 GHz (per channel), low driving voltage of < 1V (in order to be directly CMOS driven), low optical insertion loss of < 2 dB, linear electro-optic response, and ability to operate over wide range of temperatures. The goal is for a microphotonic or nanophotonic platform capable of providing highly integrated, ultrahigh performance modulators using materials with large intrinsic electro-optic (EO) response including lithium niobate (LN), barium titanate (BTO) and lead zirconate titanate (PZT). Polymer solutions are not sought but quantum confined structures can be considered as well. Semiconductor quantum structures may offer a new path to achieving highly efficient integrated EO devices with small sizes, low driving voltages, and low optical losses. To achieve these goals, scalable, wafer-scale production process for these materials needs to be demonstrated, featuring low loss waveguides (<1 dB/cm) with sub-wavelength confinement in both vertical and horizontal dimensions, and tight bending radius. The modulators need to be packaged in a compact form, while maintaining large in- and out-coupling efficiency.
PHASE I: Demonstrate that the platform of choice can achieve sub-wavelength confinement, low optical propagation loss and tight bending radius. Show that achieving the desired modulator performance metrics mentioned above is feasible and the material/structure is compatible with wafer-scale fabrication process.
PHASE II: Fabricate and characterize direct-detection electro-optic modulator with >60 GHz (-3dB EO) single channel bandwidth and 1 V driving voltage. Based on this platform, develop integrated, chip-scale, modulator arrays for coherent transmitter with 16-QAM configuration and > 600 Gbps total data transmission capability.
PHASE III: Demonstrate mass-production capability. Develop packaging techniques for high-speed RF and low-loss waveguide-to-fiber connection. Realize prototype units that have minimal long-term performance degradation when subjected to temperature fluctuations, shock, and vibration.
1: Ashutosh Rao et al, "Heterogeneous Microring and Mach-Zehnder Modulators Based on Lithium Niobate and Chalcogenide Glasses on Silicon", Optics Express, 24 Aug 2015, Volume 23, No 17
2: J. S. Barton et al, "Monolithically Integrated 40 Gbit/s Widely Tunable Transmitter Using Series Push Pull Mach Zehnder Modulator SOA and Sampled Grating DBR Laser", Optical Fiber Communication, 2005 OTuM3
3: Cheng Wang et al, "Nanophotonic lithium niobate electro-optic modulators "arXiv:1701.06470 [physics.optics], 23 Jan 2017
4: Wei Liu, Richard S. Kim, Baolai Liang, Diana L. Huffaker, Harold R. Fetterman, "High Speed InAs Quantum Dot Electro-optic Phase Modulators", IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett., vol. 23(23), 1748, 2011
KEYWORDS: RF Integrated Photonics, Integrated Optical Modulators, Electro-optic Device, Nonlinearity, Quantum Dot, Microphotonics, Nanophotonics
Multi-Physics Models for Parachute Deployment and Braking
OBJECTIVE: Develop efficient methods of modeling and predicting the behavior of thin, aeroelastic surfaces such as parachutes and their effect on bodies of interest.
DESCRIPTION: Parachutes and other aerodynamic decelerator systems (ADS) are widely used throughout the DoD and are a crucial component of many aerodynamic systems, such as ejection seats, aircraft braking systems, and payload delivery systems. Despite their ubiquity, expensive flight or sled-testing remains the primary means by which ADS are designed and evaluated. Supplementing ADS testing with physics-based modeling has the potential to dramatically reduce the costs and risks associated with real-world testing. An accurate ADS tool could also accelerate the exploration of advanced ADS concepts. The goal of this project is to develop a software module that simulates the range of ADS dynamics from deployment to terminal descent that interfaces with the DoD HPCMP CREATETM-AV Kestrel solver. The wide range of applications and dynamics of ADS lends itself well to a multi-fidelity approach where the level of estimation versus first-principle physics can be balanced to suit the problem objectives and available computational resources. However, the ADS module should be capable of being tightly-coupled in time with the flow solver to enable at least second-order temporal accuracy. The code should also demonstrate acceptable parallel performance on DoD HPCMP architectures. The developed plugin is expected to use Kestrel to generate any fluid data (e.g. pressure, density, etc.) required to simulate the ADS dynamics. The Kestrel Software Development Kit (SDK) gives plugin developers access to a wide array of data stored by the solver, including mesh and flow data. The SDK also allows plugins to add inputs to the Kestrel User Interface, giving users a seamless way to interact with any ADS module. Any new source code developed as part of this project should be fully documented and unit-tested.
PHASE I: Demonstrate the ability to loosely couple a module for parachute physics that consumes fluid data generated by the DoD HPCMP CREATETM-AV Kestrel Solver. The Kestrel Software Development Kit will be provided for reference.
PHASE II: Develop code to be tightly coupled with DoD HPCMP CREATETM-AV Kestrel Solver via the Kestrel Software Development Kit. Demonstrate that the plug-in does not adversely impact the parallel scalability of the software.
PHASE III: Develop production-quality software plug-in for use in the CREATETM-AV Kestrel Solver.
1: K. Bergeron et al., "Computational Fluid Dynamics for the Aerodynamic Design and Modeling of a Ram-Air Parachute with Bleed-Air Actuators", 53rd AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting, AIAA Paper 2015-0555, 2015.
2: J. Potvin et al., "The Road Ahead: A White Paper on the Development, Testing and Use of Advanced Numerical Modeling for Aerodynamic Decelerator Systems Design and Analysis", 21st AIAA Aerospace Decelerator Systems Technology Conference and Seminar, AIAA Paper 20112501, 2011.
3: T. Tuckey, R. McNally, and S. Adamec, "Collaborating with HPCMP CREATETMAV Kestrel", 54th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting, AIAA Paper 20161297, 2016.
KEYWORDS: CFD, CSD, FSI, Kestrel, Parachute
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Sensors
OBJECTIVE: Develop new ultra-thin devices based on metasurfaces that could enable planar photonics for applications in efficient light modulation, pulse shaping, beam steering, imaging and sensing.
DESCRIPTION: Metamaterials (MMs) are rationally designed artificial materials with versatile properties that can be tailored to fit almost any practical need and thus go beyond what can be obtained with "natural" materials. The proposed metasurfaces are optical MMs with a reduced dimensionality. In contrast to conventional 3D MM designs that often rely on resonance responses and suffer from high loss and challenging fabrication, subwavelength-thick metasurfaces can offer extraordinary properties combined with low-loss, large bandwidth performance as well as fabrication and integration advantages. Moreover, similar to surface science research that in the past revolutionized physics and revealed new phenomena unattainable with 3D systems, moving from bulk MMs to metasurfaces could unlock new physical phenomena and pave the way to truly novel applications. In contrast to the first optical MMs that were only one unit cell thick due to fabrication limitations. One seeks entirely new approaches for designing 2D metasurfaces with unique optical properties. Of interest is developing new methods of designing and investigating effective optical properties of metasurfaces that have been shown to deviate from classical reflection and refraction laws. This direction would allow one to realize various metasurfaces for "flat photonics" that provide extraordinary control of the characteristics of light, including its frequency, phase, momentum, angular momentum, and polarization. The intent is to develop metasurfaces that direct, route and control the flow of light at both the nano- and macroscopic scales and offer new, exciting functionalities. Metasurfaces present an entirely new perspective on light manipulation and create a new paradigm for the science of light. New ultra-thin devices based on metasurfaces could enable important applications ranging from efficient light modulation, pulse shaping, beam steering, imaging and sensing (for example, infrared detection) with the nanometer-scale precision to novel quantum-optics and quantum-computing systems. Opportunities exist for novel low cost nanofabrication approaches.
PHASE I: Design and fabricate novel structures based on metasurfaces that could enable important applications ranging from efficient light modulation, pulse shaping, beam steering, imaging and sensing.
PHASE II: Fabricate ultra-thin devices based on metasurfaces to demonstrate flat optics or planar photonics and address scalable nanomanufacturing of metasurfaces and metasurface based components.
PHASE III: Numerous potential applications exist in which the optical components are made lighter and use less power. Applications could include detection, infrared detection, narrow band laser applications, lidar beam forming, high power laser optics, optical communications components.
1: Aieta, F., et. al. "Aberration-Free Ultra thin Flat Lenses and Axicons at Telecom Wavelengths Based on Plasmonic Metasurfaces," dx.doi.org/10.1021/nl302516v, Nano Letters, 2012, 12, 4932-4936.
2: Aieta, F., A. Kats, M. A., Genevet, P., and Capasso, F. Multiwavelengthachromatic metasurfaces by dispersive phase compensation. Science 20 March 2015: 347 (6228), 13421345. Published online 19 February 2015[DOI:10.1126/science.aaa2494].
3: F. Capasso, "Nanophotonics based on Metasurfaces", OSA Technical Digest, pp. SW3I.1, 2015
4: P. R. West, et al., "All-dielectric subwavelength metasurface focusing lens", Optics Express, vol. 22, pp. 26212, 2014
KEYWORDS: Metasurface, Metamaterial, Flat Optics, Flat Lens, Phase-discontinuities, Plasmonics, Nanomanufacturing, Planar Photonics
Volumetric Wavefront Sensing for the Characterization of Distributed-Volume Aberrations
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Sensors
OBJECTIVE: Develop a volumetric wavefront-sensing approach that meets the spatial and temporal requirements needed for directed-energy (DE) missions.
DESCRIPTION: The presence of distributed-volume aberrations tends to be the “Achilles’ heel” to modern wavefront-sensing solutions for air-to-ground and ground-to-air DE missions. Provided a cooperative point-source beacon , there are wavefront-sensing techniques that perform optimally in the presence of distributed-volume aberrations (e.g., the self-referencing interferometer using a branch-point-tolerant reconstruction algorithm ); however, for DE missions, wavefront sensing techniques must function with extended non-cooperative targets. For many of these missions, the associated laser-target interaction does not provide a cooperative point-source beacon, and in the presence of distributed-volume aberrations, results in scintillation and speckle at the receiver. The identified wavefront-sensing approach must, in turn, be robust against size, weight, and power constraints; low signal-to-noise ratios; latency; anisoplanatism; and branch points. Such engineering constraints necessitate the development of a volumetric wave-front senor (WFS) to sense and correct for disturbances found along the laser-propagation path (e.g., the anisoplanatic atmospheric aberrations in addition to the isoplanatic aero-optic aberrations but separate from the target-induced speckle aberrations). A recent dissertation effort, for instance, developed a volumetric wavefront-sensing approach [3,4]. That said, this STTR topic looks to develop a volumetric wavefront-sensing approach which meets the spatial and temporal requirements needed for integration into DE systems. The end goal of this STTR topic is to design (Phase I) and demonstrate (Phase II and III) a volumetric WFS prototype operating in the presence of extended non-cooperative targets and distributed-volume aberrations (e.g., deep-turbulence environments). As such, a Phase I effort shall develop a volumetric-wavefront sensing approach via detailed theoretical, numerical, and scaled-laboratory studies that verify radiometric calculations for a variety of ranges and resolutions. A Phase II effort shall then develop a volumetric WFS prototype to achieve the identified testing objectives. For example, scaled-laboratory testing at AFRL could provide real-time atmospheric characterization in the presence of deep-turbulence environments. A Phase III effort could then perform atmospheric characterization at distances greater than 1 km in a field environment with moving targets and varying atmospheric conditions along horizontal-propagation paths. Such testing shall ensure commercialization of the developed prototype.
PHASE I: To achieve the identified Phase II testing objectives, a Phase I effort shall focus on the following deliverables. • Creating a radiometric calculator for a variety of ranges and resolutions. These calculations shall identify scalability and include the relationship between the aperture, the distributed-volume aberrations, and an extended non-cooperative target. • Performing calibrated scaled-laboratory experiments which verify the radiometric calculations. This step shall ensure that the developed approach is ready for a Phase II effort, where a prototype shall be developed to achieve the identified testing objectives.
PHASE II: To achieve the identified Phase III testing objectives, a Phase II effort shall focus on the following deliverables. • Obtaining computational efficiency. This step shall ensure that the developed prototype is amenable to testing in a scaled-laboratory environment at AFRL. • Participating in scaled-laboratory testing at AFRL in order to demonstrate computational efficiency via real-time operation. This step shall ensure that the developed prototype is ready for a Phase III effort, where a refined prototype shall be developed to achieve the identified testing objectives.
PHASE III: Military application: Demonstrating the developed prototype along horizontal-propagation paths in a field environment at distances greater than 1 km. This step shall ensure that the developed prototype is ready for air-to-ground and ground-to-air DE missions Commercial Application: The successfully demonstrated volumetric WFS prototype shall translate into a high-fidelity solution available to the DoD.
1: M. F. Spencer, R. A. Raynor, M. T. Banet, and D. K. Marker, "Deep-turbulence wavefront sensing using digital-holographic detection in the off-axis image plane recording geometry," Opt. Eng. 56(3), 031213 (2016) [doi:10.1117/1.OE.56.3.031213].
2: M. J. Steinbock, M. W. Hyde, and J. D. Schmidt, "LSPV+7, a branch-point-tolerant reconstructor for strong turbulence adaptive optics," App. Opt. 53, 3821-3831 (2014) [doi:10.1364/AO.53.003821].
3: A. E. Tippie and J. R. Fienup, "Phase-error correction for multiple planes using a sharpness metric," Opt. Exp. 34, 701-703 (2009) [doi:10.1364/OL.34.000701].
4: A. E. Tippie and J. R. Fienup, "Multiple-plane anisoplanatic phase correction in a laboratory digital holography experiment," Opt. Exp. 35, 3291-3293 (2010) [doi:10.1364/OL.35.003291].
KEYWORDS: Atmospheric Propagation, Atmospheric Characterization, Wavefront Sensing, Deep Turbulence, Anisoplanatism, Branch Points, Branch Cuts, Adaptive Optics, And Beam Control
Mark Spencer (AFRL/RDLTS)
Full Mueller Matrix Characterization of Imaged Samples using Digital Holography
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Weapons
OBJECTIVE: Detailed understanding of complex object reflectance is critical in developing realistic computer generated graphics and interpreting target signatures. This project attempts to provide higher fidelity target reflectance information which supports advanced tracking and aero-optic mitigation technologies and techniques for the DoD.
DESCRIPTION: Develop approach that will allow for a full Mueller matrix to be obtained from Stokes vector calculated from the complex field distributions of the horizontal and vertical components. Advance techniques to gather complex distributions using three-dimensional polarization imaging digital holographic techniques, which are capable of measuring polarization properties at each pixel and at arbitrary depth without mechanical scanning.
PHASE I: Develop, analyze, and deliver optical/mechanical design and image processing techniques for next generation architectures that is capable of reducing error from that associated with current state of the art systems [Kobata and Nomura, 2015] from 25%, down to ~1-5% across all 16 elements of the Mueller matrix.
PHASE II: Complete detailed design and fabrication of prototype digital holographic measurement system and associated software. Perform demonstrations on selected complex geometric surface structures to verify performance of the imaging diagnostic in the lab.
PHASE III: Transition prototype design to manufacturable ruggedized design that can be implemented in laboratory or field environments. The transition should support measurement of object types of interest not only to the DoD, but commercial computer generated graphics industry as well.
1: Kobata, T. and T. Nomura, "Digital holographic three-dimensionalMueller matrix imaging," Applied Optics, Vol. 54, No. 17, June 10 2015.
2: Schiff, T.F. , J.O. Stover, D.R. Bjork, B.D. Swimley, D.J. Wilson, ME. Southwood, "Mueller matrix measurements with an out-of-plane polarimetric scatterometer," SPIE Vol. 1746 Polarization Analysis and Measurement, 1992.
3: Vaughn, I. A. , O. G. Rodriguez-Herrera , M. Xu , J. S. Tyo, "A portable imaging Mueller matrix polarimeter based on a spatio-temporal modulation approach: theory and implementation," Proc. of SPIE Vol. 9613, 2015
KEYWORDS: Digital Holography, BRDF, Mueller Matrix, Scatterometry, Optical Scattering, Optical Reflectivity, Optical Measurements
Stable High Bandwidth AO Control with physical DM constraints
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Weapons
OBJECTIVE: Develop a Multi-input Multi-output (MIMO) control algorithm that can maximize AO bandwidth by going beyond the physical constraints of the DM such as mirror resonance modes and inter-actuator stroke limits
DESCRIPTION: Mechanical constraints in a deformable mirror (DM) are one of the primary constraints that limits the capability of an adaptive optics (AO) system. Current technology will operate the DM within the regime that is limited by this physical constraint in order to prevent any mechanical failure from occurring. Such mechanical constraints include, but are not limited to inter-actuator stroke limits and mirror resonance modes. The first issue is due to the mechanical constraints of a point-actuated deformable mirror (DM) with continuous facesheets from which each point-actuator is limited in its range of stroke ,.Aside my from the fact that this limits the maximum From a control algorithm perspective, the stroke limit is effectively viewed as a nonlinear saturation limit that can potentially induce instability. A conventional approach to this control problem is to design a high-stability-margin controller implemented at the expense of sacrificing control bandwidth or an optimal/robust controller that penalizes the commands to avoid saturation , which can result in having similar effects in terms of bandwidth. Adaptive optics (AO) through DM implementation offers a more challenging problem as the stroke limits for each point actuator depends on the relative position of the neighboring actuators that change every time step. In other words, due to spatial coupling of the facesheet, the so-called inter-actuator stroke limit effectively imposes point-in-time saturation limits to each actuator , which manifests the complexity of the MIMO control problem.The secondary constraint of interest is the DM resonance mode that is an inherent structural property associated with the mirror itself. The current state-of-the-art AO technology chooses to limit the control bandwidth so it does not excite these modes. The multi-channel nature of the device makes a standard notch filter a less viable option and calls for a MIMO controller that can account for the spatial and temporal dependencies of the mirror modes. The research problem here is to design a control algorithm that operates beyond the physical limits to provide sufficient AO bandwidth (BW) when addressing aero-optical effects while maintaining mechanical and control stability.Requirements for this research effort can be made by first establishing a baseline case where an AO simulation is conducted without any DM inter-actuator stroke limits. The limiting factor for performance is frame rate, open-loop BW for DM, severity of the disturbance source, and the closed-loop BW of the control algorithm. Candidate performance metrics are wavefront error (WFE), Strehl, peak irradiance, and power-in-the-bucket. The baseline case isolates that inter-actuator stroke limit problem from the AO simulation, and shows the best achievable performance. Although not completely necessary, it is good to show performance contrast by implementing the same controller in the presence of inter-actuator stroke-limits. It is highly anticipated that the performance metrics would show significant degradation. The SBIR awardee would address this issue with a novel control scheme that maximizes control BW and avoids instability.
PHASE I: Develop a new control algorithm operate in frequency range beyond the physical constraints of the deformable mirror (DM) while maintaining mechanical and control stability. Actuator spacing, inter-actuator stroke limit, Mirror Dynamics, open-loop BW of DM, frame rate will provided by the Government. A basic wave-optics model (or two-step Discrete Fourier Transform method) is necessary for making numerical far-field predictions while implementing the AO-loop. Assume that the AO beacon is a perfect point source with no camera noise. Using the new control algorithm to numerically quantify how degraders due to inter-actuator stroke limits and mirror resonance modes can be mitigated within a closed-loop AO system for a particular disturbance environment, namely in the presence of aero-optics.
PHASE II: Incorporating inter-actuator stroke limit capability (increasing the fidelity of the physical DM model) into high fidelity beam-control-suitable wave-optic code. Implementing the new control algorithm with the increased fidelity wave-optics code under relevant air-to-air HEL engagement conditions such as the use of a non-cooperative beacon illuminator, camera noise, and speckle. Implementing the new control algorithm on a Government provided aero-optic beam control testbed to verify modeling and simulation results.
PHASE III: Using the models developed in Phase II to address Directed Energy Podded Laser System Advanced Technology Demonstration (ATD) and perform the trade-space analysis needed to extract DM requirements. Commercial Application: Incorporating the new control algorithm and inter-actuator limit module into commercially available software packages. Directed Energy Podded Laser System Advanced Technology Demonstration (ATD), needs this capability in the near future to perform the necessary trade-space analysis needed to fund and eventually field various HEL systems. Developing this capability through AFRL SBIR efforts will serve the entire DoD. Other commercial applications include the development of adaptive optics for biomedical microscopy which can use this technique for simulated imagery.
1: G. A. Perram, S. J. Cusumano, R. L. Hengehold, and S. T. Fiorino, "An Introduction to Laser Weapon Systems," (Directed Energy Professional Society, 2010).
2: P. Merritt, "Beam Control for Laser Systems," (Directed Energy Professional Society, 2011).
3: "Effects of displacement and rate saturation on the control of statically unstable aircraft", Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics, Vol. 7, No. 2 (1984), pp. 197-205.
4: G. D. HANSON and R. F. STENGEL. Curtis Vogel, Glenn Tyler, Yang Lu, Thomas Bifano, Rodolphe Conan, and Celia Blain, "Modeling and parameter estimation for point-actuated continuous-facesheet deformable mirrors," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 27, A56-A63 (2010)
KEYWORDS: Beam Control, Optimal Control, Adaptive Control, Adaptive Optics, Wave-optics
Edwin S. Ahn
Modern Manufacturing for Liquid Rocket Engine Components
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Space Platforms
OBJECTIVE: To apply emerging manufacturing techniques (e.g. DMLS, EBM, etc.) focused in the manipulation and control of material characteristics and properties to attain material thermal, structural, and life property benefits not attainable via an isentropic material. To develop a fabrication scheme that imparts these structural characteristics as the part is build and perform property characterization relevant to rocket engine applications and conditions.
DESCRIPTION: In the last decade, several new manufacturing techniques have emerged that could potentially dramatically lower the costs of producing rocket engines while maintaining the tight tolerances and reproducibility needed in such components. Techniques such as direct hot isostatic pressing (HIP), electron beam melting (EBM) and direct metal laser sintering/melting (DMLS) have opened the design space in the aerospace industry by allowing the construction of intricate parts that could not have been possible with conventional manufacturing. Emerging manufacturing techniques have been successfully applied to build a few Liquid Rocket Engine (LRE) components. However, these processes have primarily focused on replicating the configuration and properties of conventionally machined components at a lower fabrication cost with minimal focus on exploring further performance gains afforded by the different manufacturing scheme. This topic attempts to explore the optimization of material properties via additive manufacturing (AM) techniques to gain greater performance or efficiencies within LREs and their components. Depending on the manufacturing technique, material composition can be tailored to impart particular material properties. The additive manufacturing methods can affect metallic composition at the microscopic crystalline level creating advantageous metallic features. This could potentially allow intentional manipulation of metal properties such strength, ductility, hardness, and heat conductivity among others. Furthermore, this would allow a single grown AM component to have multiple material properties within a single part that are focused within a region of interest. Macroscopic aspects such internal cavities, lattice and structure, dual material AM, etc. have been explored in other applications but have not been addressed for the harsh conditions and operations of LREs. Implementation of both microscopic and macroscopic property manipulation interwoven with the highly complex geometries feasible in AM could play a significant advantage in LRE’s performance and capabilities. Any manufacturing processes proposed for this effort will need to show the applicability of their processes to common LRE alloys such as copper (Cu), titanium (Ti), and nickel (Ni) alloys and their ability to meet the needs of LRE components. The influence of targeted post-processing treatments such as HIP and exposure to the LRE environment upon the material should be clearly detailed in the proposals. Through execution of this topic LREs will be able to leverage the full potential of AM to create higher performance, more compact, lighter weight systems that expand capabilities beyond the current limits of modern manufacturing for LRE alloys.
PHASE I: Phase I Design and build (including any post-manufacturing treatments like HIP) a prototype LRE component that explores material property and feature manipulation to enhance LRE capabilities. Develop a scheme to test the developed fabrication scheme and test the in such a way to extrapolate the mechanical, thermal, or mass properties of the component in a LRE environment. With the targeted environment as representative of its specific component’s exposure within LREs such as high pressure, high temperature, rotational stress, extreme cycles, or harsh oxidizing environment.
PHASE II: Develop an engineering unit and test the hardware conceived in Phase I at representative rocket engine conditions to validate material properties and component performance. Expand the engineering unit hardware to a representative scale to demonstrate production feasibility. In the case of weight targets, demonstrate weight goals by fabrication of a flightweight system.
PHASE III: Lower-cost rocket engine components that meet or exceed their current performance specs, enabling lower launch costs for military payloads. Manufacturing techniques that fully optimize the AM technology to attain revolutionary performance gains within LREs.
1: M. Shellabear, O. Nyrhilä, DMLS – Development History and State of the Art, LANE 2004 conference, Erlangen, Germany, Sept. 21-24, 2004
2: Y. Tang, H.T. Loh, Y.S. Wong, J.Y.H. Fuh, L. Lu, X. Wang, Direct laser sintering of a copper based alloy for creating three-dimensional metal parts, J of Materials Processing Technology, Vol. 140, 2003, pp. 368-372
3: A. Simchi, Direct laser sintering of metal powders: Mechanism, kinetics and microstructural features, Materials Science and Engineering A 428 (2006) 148–158
4: G.P. Sutton and O. Biblarz, Rocket Propulsion Elements, 7th Ed. John Wiley & Sons, Inc, New York, NY2001, ISBN 0-471-32642-9.
KEYWORDS: Additive Manufacturing, DMLS, Direct Metal Laser Sintering, Electron Beam Melting, EBM, Laser Melting, Cu-alloys
Reconfigurable / cognitive optical communications
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Space Platforms
OBJECTIVE: Develop technologies for a new generation of free-space optical systems that embody the concept of photonic software-defined transceivers, supporting reconfigurability features in direct analogy to radio-frequency-based software-defined / cognitive radios.
DESCRIPTION: In this topic, we seek the development of reconfigurable optical systems with the primary aim of flexible communications applications. In software-defined radio, electronic components, circuits, and functions are rendered from information descriptions, systems whose functions can be reconfigured dynamically leading to: (1) expansion of the repertoire of components in the receive and/or transmit chain that can be made reconfigurable (such as the antenna, front end components, amplifiers) in various ways; (2) extending the concepts of waveforms and applications to take advantage of flexibility; (3) the ability to exploit reconfigurability dynamically (i.e., allowing the definitions to be altered temporally); and (4) exploiting flexibility to allow the radio appliance itself to be extended to other applications, also flexibly and dynamically (i.e., for example as a weather instrument, sensor, radar). We seek creative exploitation of the concepts in reconfigurable systems to create a new class of flexible optical transceivers, optimized for communications, but extensible applications (timing, ranging, metrology, etc.). Consider methodologies for reconfiguring wavelength, modulation, protocols (e.g., methods for altering physical, datalink, network layer implementations under software definition), the shape of aperture/beam, and other characteristics. Our core applications communications, bidirectional signaling between spacecraft (crosslinks) and ground systems. We anticipate perhaps one day all spacecraft will have this functionality, leading to new concepts in communications, timing, sensing, and information convergence on a global scale. We seek fundamental contributions to the software-defined photonic radio. We anticipate the introduction of novel concepts that enable optical-domain reconfiguration (devices, circuits, components, pathways, sub-systems) that can be advantageously exploited in communications applications. We expect conceptual traceability to dynamical reconfigurability that can managed in system (using methods analogous to those in field programmable gate arrays). Especially in communications/network applications, it is important to identify protocols for interoperability that allow the effective negotiation of channel formation / access, as well as security and trust features that eliminate concepts of cybersecurity exploitation as well as embody resilience to the associate links/networks.
PHASE I: Introduce innovative concepts that establish a convincing contribution to reconfigurable / cognitive optical communications. Demonstrate attention to both aspects of designing for reconfigurability and designing with configurability, managing reconfigurable features, and establishing traceability to effective real-world applications. Address the constraints of space systems applications and ties to militarily-relevant applications.
PHASE II: Create a demonstrable and compelling embodiment of the Phase 1 concepts, for example dynamical reconfigurability that can be managed in system (using methods analogous to those in field programmable gate arrays). Especially in communications/network applications, it is important to identify protocols for interoperability.
PHASE III: We encourage partnerships with space system developers and space systems customers, especially for military application, but given the ubiquity of communications and broad interest in exploiting space as the basis for present and new communications architectures, we expect applicability of these concepts to both military and space customers.
1: Mitola, J. ‘‘The software radio architecture,’’ IEEE Commun. Mag., vol. 33, no. 5, pp. 26–38, May 1995.
2: Lyke, James et.al., "Introduction to Reconfigurable Systems", Proc. IEEE, March 2015.
3: "Laser Cross-link Systems and Technology," D.L. Begley, IEEE Communications Magazine, 06 August 2002, pp. 126-132.
4: 4. Seregelyi, Joe. "How close is the all-optical transceiver for software-defined radio?.", SPIE Newsroom, 2006 (available online at http://spie.org/documents/newsroom/imported/0057/57_464_0_2006-02-27.pdf as of March 2017)
KEYWORDS: Reconfigurable Systems, GPS, Crosslink, Space-based Networks, Data Transfer, Free Space Optical Data Transfer, FSO
Passive Cathode Device for Space Plasma Applications
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Space Platforms
OBJECTIVE: Develop a passive electron emission device or material that automatically emits electrons when brought to a modest negative potential with respect to a space plasma; with a flux comparable to the environmental driver, as with spacecraft charging or with Electrodynamic Tethers.
DESCRIPTION: Cathodes are critical components in many plasma-based devices, some of which have space applications. Most applications look for low energy cost and high electron flux or flux density (brightness) as measures of merit. Some, however, care less about high electron flux in exchange for simplicity of construction and operation. Two such applications are the electrodynamic tether (EDT) and spacecraft charge mitigation. A spacecraft may charge many kilovolts negative compared to the ambient plasma during a geomagnetic substorm due to a high flux of incident electrons. Certain materials will charge to different potentials and surfaces in close proximity may be driven to different potentials under these conditions. Sometimes, this can lead to an arc which can damage spacecraft components, such as in a “triple-point” configuration, where a dielectric, metal, and the ambient plasma meet. Automatic emission of electrons when a spacecraft charges negative would greatly reduce the probability for dangerous charging conditions to develop on the spacecraft by limiting the potential the spacecraft can achieve. Early efforts to control spacecraft charging used hollow cathode plasma emitters , but these require propellant, thus limiting their lifespan, and incur a mass and complexity penalty for control. Other cathode approaches often requires either high power, as in hotwire filaments, and/or multiple electrodes, such as Spindt-type or carbon nanotube cathodes . More recent efforts have pursued simpler solutions that utilize more passively controlled cathodes to emit electrons as a natural response to spacecraft charging [3,4], possibly utilizing the “triple-point” effect in a controlled fashion. For the best spacecraft charging application however, a low charging voltage point of operation requires space charge matching to the space plasma (or vacuum), which in turn suggest approaches using large area and low brightness, and/or low work function materials. The focus for this STTR is on solutions featuring low-power propellantless electron emission with good space-charge matching to the nighttime LEO (Low Earth Orbit) or GEO (Geo-synchronous Earth Orbit) plasma environment. Passive or autonomous operation is important. Lithographic solutions will be considered, but the vision is for a laminar material or even paint.
PHASE I: Investigate materials and approaches that would support automatic electron emission, such as negative-electron affinity materials, carbon nanotubes, crystals (perovskite) and low-work function materials. Develop a test approach (modeling and/or testing) capable of demonstrating the effectiveness of electron emission in a plasma environment.
PHASE II: Develop candidate technologies and an understanding of device emission, operating parameters, and impact of operation in a plasma environment. Confirm behavior of the device in plasma chamber and refine design to minimize weight and power. Characterize properties of emitted electrons to enable robust modeling of the device and prediction of optimization paths. Produce a well-characterized prototype for laboratory use.
PHASE III: A device capable of mitigating spacecraft charging through automatic electron emission will greatly reduce susceptibility to space weather and enhance the lifetime and reliability of US space assets, and may enable technologies that emit or exchange charged particles with the environment. Commercial operators will also be interested in automatic electron emission to mitigate space weather effects, enhancing the lifetime of commercial systems and reducing susceptibility to space weather events.
1: Kovaleski, S.D., Patterson, M.J., & Soulas, G.C. "Correlation of Hollow Cathode Assembly and Plasma Contactor Data from Ground Testing and In-Space Operation on the International Space Station." NASA/TM-2001-211293, Presented at 27th International El
2: Matéo-Vélez, J-C, et al., "Design and Numerical Assessment of a Passive Electron Emitter for Spacecraft Charging Alleviation," IEEE Trans On Plasma Science, Vol. 43, No. 9, 2015
3: Wheelock, A., Cooke, D.L., Knoll, M. "Plasma Testing of IProSEC Cathode Devices." AIAA-2009-6735, AIAA Space 2009 Conference and Exposition, Pasadena, CA, 14-17 September 2009.
4: Iwata, Minoru et al., "Development of Electron-Emitting Film for Spacecraft Charging Mitigation", J. of Spacecraft And Rockets, Vol. 49, No. 3, May–June 2012.
KEYWORDS: Cathodes, Spacecraft Charging, Charge Mitigation
David Cooke (RVBX)
Damage Morphology for Advanced Concretes
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Weapons
OBJECTIVE: Develop experimental techniques to assess damage morphology in advanced concrete materials for development of a new multi-scale constitutive framework.
DESCRIPTION: Large scale penetration events subject the penetrator case to severe impact environments through the use of advanced concretes with unconfined compressive strengths 20-30 ksi. This requires unique solutions for warhead cases and requires accurate constitutive models to ensure warheads are properly designed. Fundamental understanding of the effects of damage (i.e., cracks and pores) generated during dynamic loadings is critical to properly design new penetrating systems. Constitutive models for concrete materials that could capture and predict realistic damage in such materials do not exist. Additionally, few experimental techniques exist that can assess concrete damage mechanisms and their morphology at lower length scales under both confined and unconfined conditions. To this end, an integrated multi-scale experimental, modeling, and simulation approach is required. Significant research has been performed on coarse aggregate concretes with unconfined compressive strengths 5-15 ksi at quasi-static and dynamic conditions, however only a qualitative understanding of damage typically exists. The more advanced concretes with unconfined compressive strengths of 20-30 ksi have coarse aggregate to increase strength but also incorporate fibers to increase its ductility. The additional strength and ductility alters the damage mechanisms often seen in coarse aggregate 5-15 ksi concretes. Therefore, an understanding of damage in advanced concretes is needed and is severely lacking. Furthermore, the complexity of advanced concretes often limit experimental efforts and are not typically conducted. A need exists to develop the necessary experimental techniques needed to systematically characterize, both qualitatively and quantitatively, the damage morphology for such advanced concretes under unconfined and confined conditions and use the newly acquired data to develop a new multi-scale modeling framework. The newly developed experimental techniques should be able to quantify damage under either confined or unconfined conditions. The new techniques could use current experimental capabilities but coupled with new technology to extract the damage mechanisms and morphology necessary to aid the development of the multi-scale framework for advanced concretes. It is also understood that the damage mechanisms and morphology may vary from quasi-static to dynamic loading events, therefore, the new technique may address either strain-rate regimes.
PHASE I: Develop systematic and well-controlled experimental techniques to investigate damage mechanisms and their morphology for advanced concretes with fibers. Verify the technique through limited testing to show proof of concept.
PHASE II: Develop and fully implement the experimental techniques from Phase I for advanced concretes. Identify appropriate techniques for incorporating the observed damage into multi-scale constitutive frameworks. Using the newly measured data, develop a new multi-scale constitutive framework.
PHASE III: Military Application: This technology is applicable to the study of a wide variety of composite materials, energetic materials, propellants, and geologic materials.
1: Skarzynski, L. and Tejchman, J. (2016). Experimental Investigations of Fracture Process in Concrete by Means of X-ray Micro-computed Tomography, Intl. J. of Exp. Mech. 52: 26-45. doi: 10.1111/str.12168
2: Sfer, D., Carol, I., Gettu, R., and Etse, G. (2002). Study of the Behavior of Concrete under Triaxial Compression, J. of Eng. Mech. 128 (2): 156-163. doi: 10.1061/(ASCE)0733-9399(2002)128:2(156)
3: Zubelewicz, A., Rougier, E., Ostoja-Starzewski, O., Knight, E.E., Bradley, C., and Viswanathan, H.S. (2014). A mechanisms-based model for dynamic behavior and fracture of geomaterials, Intl. J. of Rock Mech. & Mining Sci. 72: 277-282.
KEYWORDS: Damage, Pressure, Mechanical Properties, Concrete, Ultra-high Performance Concrete, Fiber Reinforced Concrete, High Strain-rate
Bradley E. Martin
High Temperature Materials for Hypersonic Radomes and Antennas
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Weapons
OBJECTIVE: The Air Force seeks to characterize the thermal and electrical properties of high temperature materials used for radomes or antennas in the design of expendable hypersonic vehicles. Recently, silicon nitride based and other ceramic matrix composite (CMC) materials have been considered but their mechanical and electrical properties have not been fully analyzed at multiple frequency and temperature ranges. Manufacturability and cost should be considered in the design of these metamaterials to complement desired performance.
DESCRIPTION: It is the intent of this solicitation to develop candidate high temperature materials for radomes and antennas that will survive a representative expendable hypersonic vehicle trajectory. Ideally, the material should be able to survive temperatures in excess of 2000°F while maintaining mechanical strength and retaining a low dielectric constant for desired RF transmission properties. Higher temperatures can also affect the performance of radomes and antennas at different frequencies. At a minimum, the material’s electrical properties must be characterized at X/Ku-band with the goal of testing at Ka-band. Testing and characterization can initially be done on small sample sizes (ie. 2 in x 2 in coupon), but must demonstrate ability to scale up to a typical radome sized geometry while retaining material thermal and electrical properties. In addition, the material density should not degrade the performance of a nose mounted or conformal seeker while only minimally impacting aerodynamic performance of the vehicle.
PHASE I: The phase I effort should develop candidate high temperature materials at small sample sizes and perform in-house thermal testing ranging from 600°F to 2000°F. Begin to characterize mechanical properties at varying temperatures including maximum useable temperature, strength, and coefficient of thermal expansion. It is desired to have a material with the mechanical strength of Alumina or other similar high strength ceramics. At a minimum, the material should have a flexural strength of 150-200 MPa. Identify facilities capable of high temperature electrical testing.
PHASE II: The phase II effort should further develop the properties of the high temperature materials. Demonstrate similar mechanical properties as the sample size of the material is increased. Quantify the electrical performance at Ku- and Ka-band to include dielectric constant and loss tangent. The material should have the lowest dielectric constant as possible while still meeting strength requirements, or if possible have solution that has a variable dielectric constant as a function of material thickness. The dielectric constant of the material should not exceed a value of 5. Demonstrate the material’s manufacturability and that it will be suitable for the applications.
PHASE III: The developed full-scale radome prototype should be demonstrated up to 2000°F by verifying its survivability, mechanical strength, and electrical properties at Ka-band transmission.
1: R.E. Loehman, E.L. Corral, H.P. Dumm, P. Kotula, P. Gabriel, and R. Tandon, "Ultra-High Temperature Ceramics for Hypersonic Vehicle Applications," Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, NM, Department of Energy, Washington DC, pgs. 1-50, Report Num
2: E.L. Corral, H. Wany, J.E. Garay, Z. Munir, and E.V. Barrera, "Effect of Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes on Thermal and Electrical Properties of SIlicon Nitride Processed Using Spark Plasma Sintering," Journal of the European Ceramic Society, 31  391-4000 (2011). DOI: 10.1016/j.jeruceramsoc.2010.10.020
3: L. Zhou, Y. Pei, R. Zhang, and D. Fang, "Design for Broadband High-Temperature Radome Wall with Graded Porous Structure," AIAA Journal, Vol. 50, No. 9, September 2012.
4: J. Yang, R. Downes, A. Schrand, J. G. Park, R. Liang, C. Xu, "High electrical conductivity and anisotropy of aligned carbon nanotube nanocomposites reinforced by silicon carbonitride," Script Materialia, Vol. 124, pgs. 21-25, 2016.
KEYWORDS: Metamaterials, Radomes, Antennas, Ceramic-matrix-composites, High Temperature Materials, RF Transmission
Thomas Lewis (AFRL/RWWS)
Application of Hierarchical Memory Models to Automatic Target Recognition Modeling and Simulation
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Weapons
OBJECTIVE: Leverage industry advances in modeling biological memory functions for robust recognition of targets of interest. Apply state of the art hierarchical pattern matching for vision-based systems that allow for partial occlusion, temporal variation, and signature variation due to due to changes in aspect angle and range.
DESCRIPTION: Biological systems have extremely effective target identification and tracking capability. Advances in understanding the underlying mechanisms is increasing exponentially, as seen by the impact of artificial intelligence on our daily lives. This topic will attempt to leverage documented industry and academic advances using manmade sensors and hierarchical memory models for target detection, recognition, and tracking under conditions of obscuration.
PHASE I: Develop vision-based models in multiple optical spectra that process fundamental patterns (e.g., temporal, geometric, spectral, and potentially environmental) which decompose complex object sensor signatures into a hierarchical memory structure that allows future detection and recognition of the object from a measurement in which only a portion of the signature is measured. The focus of Phase I is the efficient and robust hierarchical organization of target signatures, and an efficient mechanism for detection and recognition of a portion of the same (partial obscuration) from a complex scene. Identify test cases and demonstrate concepts for a limited number of cases. Quantify detection/false alarm sensitivity as a function of target obscuration and visible structural saliency. Plan an experimental setup for Phase II.
PHASE II: Extend Phase I approach to create an expandable architecture that can be trained to detect and identify with confidence several target types with a wide range of signature variation and obscuration. Perform experiments in both infrared and visible wavebands with dynamic target and observer motion. Develop an experimental testbed including sensors with multiple modalities (e.g., visible and infrared). Train the system for detection and recognition of multiple target types and perform a demonstration against field data. Investigate transition partners within the DoD and potential commercialization opportunities.
PHASE III: Implement capabilities on optimized computational platforms (e.g., GPU or FPGA) for tactical real-time performance. Expand training process to include arbitrary target objects. Support integration of capabilities into operational closed-loop control systems. Extend recognition from inanimate to animate targets, both manmade and biological.
1: G. Vaca-Castano, Improved scene identification and object detection on egocentric vision of daily activities, Computer Vision and Image Understanding, Elsevier, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cviu.2016.10.016
2: P. F. Felzenszwalb, Object Detection with Discriminatively Trained Part-Based Models, 2010 IEEE Transactions on pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence, DOI:10.1109/TPAMI.2009.167
3: Donatti, Guillermo, Memory Organization for Invariant Object Recognition and Categorization Electronic Letters on Computer Vision and Image Analysis 15(2):33-36, 2016
4: F. A. Guerrero-Pena, Search-space sorting with hidden Markov models for occluded object recognition, 2016, IEEE 8th International Conference on Intelligent Systems, DOI:10.1109/IS.2016.7737478
KEYWORDS: Brain Science, Vision Systems, Artificial Intelligence, Memory Models, Hierarchical Hidden Markov Models, Machine Learning, Target Recognition
Rhoe A. Thompson
Radio Frequency (RF) Filter Tuning Element
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Sensors
OBJECTIVE: Develop a low-loss high-linearity component capable of tuning a microwave bandpass or band stop filter across 2:1 bandwidths.
DESCRIPTION: As modern radio receivers grow in their capability to handle large instantaneous bandwidths, they become more susceptible to both malicious and unintentional interference. Filters can protect RF frontends, but must be tunable to maintain a minimal impact in regards to the desired receive spectrum. Much work has been done in demonstrating relatively compact continuously tunable microwave filters. However, these typically require a nonstandard fabrication. Linearity and repeatability of tuning are often limited by the continuously tunable elements. Due to the unique requirements of each system, a new filter is typically designed to balance the trade-space between size, power handling, loss, tunable range, bandwidth, and configurability. Thus most tunable filters are custom designed and very expensive. The goal of this SBIR is to develop a compact tunable surface mount component that would provide the tuning mechanism for a variety of filter topologies. This component could be a switchable bank of capacitors or inductors, or a continuously tunable capacitor or inductor. Integration of a tunable loss mechanism would be of interest as well, as it would allow precise tuning of absorptive band stop filters and control of the bandwidth of more traditional filter topologies. The table below gives design goals assuming the tunable element is a tunable capacitor. The resonator specs must be achievable in the case that the tunable element is connected to external elements (lumped or distributed) to make a two-pole Chebyshev band stop filter capable of tuning across S-band (2-4 GHz). If a tunable inductor is proposed, it must be shown that it can be used to create filters with equivalent performance to the specified tunable capacitor. Max parasitic capacitance between tunable elements: = 200 fF (goal of = 50 fF) Max parasitic capacitance to ground: = 200 fF (goal of = 50 fF) Tunable range of component: = 4:1 (goal of = 10:1) Effective bits of control: = 8 (goal of = 10) Power handling in filter: = 37 dBm (goal of = 43 dBm) Minimum unloaded resonator Q: = 75 (goal of = 200) The performer must demonstrate repeatability and stability of tuning so that a filter design would not need a feedback loop to tune the filters.
PHASE I: Phase I will investigate conceptual designs for an integrated tuning element to determine feasibility and perform critical experiments to verify the simulation results of selected component designs.
PHASE II: In phase II, the performer will design, model, fabricate and test the integrated tuning elements. the fabricated components should then be packaged in a surface mount package and demonstrated in a tunable microwave filter application capable of showcasing the performance of the tuning element. It is anticipated that Phase II should be an iterative approach comprised of two fabrications cycles to allow learning from the first cycle to be applied to optimization of the second cycle.
PHASE III: Phase III will be used to design and build filters using the tunable components developed in phases I and II. These filters will be designed to demonstrate viable transitions to actual DOD subsystems.
1: M. Bakri-Kassem, A. A. Aziz and R. Mansour, "A high power latching RF MEMS capacitors bank", Microwave and Optoelectronics Conference (IMOC), 2015 SBMO/IEEE MTT-S International, Porto de Galinhas, 2015, pp. 1-4.
2: C. Palego, "A Two-Pole Lumped-Element Programmable Filter With MEMS Pseudodigital Capacitor Bands"
3: in IEEE Transactions on Microwave Theory and Techniques, vol. 56, no. 3, pp. 729-735, March 2008.
4: Y. Shim, Z. Wu and M. Rais-Zadeh, "A High Performance Continuously Tunable MEMS Bandpass Filter at 1 GHz "
5: in IEEE Transactions on Microwave Theory and Techniques, vol. 60, no. 8, pp. 2439-2447, Aug 2012.
6: F. Huang, S. Fouladi and R. R. Mansour, "High-Q Tunable Dielectric Resonator Filters Using MEMs Technology"
7: in IEEE Transactions on Microwave Theory and Techniques, vol. 59, no. 12, pp. 3401-3409, Dec 2011.
KEYWORDS: Tunable Filters, Varactors, RF Switches, Reconfigurable Microwave Circuits
High damage threshold antireflective treatment for infrared nonlinear materials
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Sensors
OBJECTIVE: To develop high damage threshold antireflection surface treatments for nonlinear optical materials to support high pulse energy operation across the mid-infrared (IR).
DESCRIPTION: Nonlinear frequency conversion is a well-established approach for generating coherent radiation in the mid-infrared where direct laser sources are scarce and their performance limited. Efficient conversion requires high pump intensity, often realized through pulsed operation with a Q-switched source. A persistent limitation of such devices is surface damage on the nonlinear material. Material surfaces must be treated to suppress reflection across the spectrum of operation, but traditional multi-layer dielectric antireflective coatings for the mid-IR often have a practical damage threshold of less than 2 J/cm2, sometimes much less. This is especially problematic for orientation-patterned materials like OPGaAs and OPGaP whose relatively small apertures limit energy scaling by simply increasing the spot size. One alternative is "motheye" treatment: the application of microscopic surface textures whose feature sizes are much smaller than the wavelength of light. These features produce a gradual change to the effective refractive index at the material surface, eliminating Fresnel reflections. Motheyes have achieved impressive results in many laser and window materials, matching or exceeding the antireflective performance of traditional coatings while providing a damage threshold approaching that of the native material. In mid-IR nonlinear materials, however, this technology remains unproven. Looking beyond the surface treatment, it appears that the cutting and polishing process used to fabricate device samples can also play a significant role in damage. Damage threshold in ZnGeP2 was doubled through controlled removal of residual subsurface damage from cutting. The challenge, then, is to develop a surface treatment for nonlinear materials like OPGaAs that equals or exceeds the AR performance of conventional coatings while significantly increasing the damage threshold. A high-damage, broadband AR treatment would be a breakthrough technology, addressing a problem that has plagued nonlinear frequency conversion devices for decades, and enabling the energy scaling of devices based on versatile orientation-patterned growth for quasi-phasematching. This SBIR project is intended to develop such a treatment based on analysis of the factors contributing to material damage in this operating regime. The treatment should be suitable for OP materials like OPGaAs operating in the mid-IR (2-5 microns), pumped in the ns-pulse regime typical for mid-IR frequency conversion devices.
PHASE I: Develop prototype process for treating OPGaAs or similar material, and measure damage threshold and anti-reflection properties. Provide treated samples for testing in frequency conversion devices.
PHASE II: Based on the results of Phase I, refine process to match AR properties of conventional coatings, and to increase damage threshold to 75% of that of the native material, or better. Measure damage threshold and anti-reflection properties, and provide treated samples for testing in frequency conversion devices.
PHASE III: Treat nonlinear optical device samples per specifications provided by the Government based on the realistic performance of the proposed device and mission requirements.
1: Arnaud Grisard, Eric Lallier,Bruno Gérard, "Quasi-phase-matched gallium arsenide for versatile mid-infrared frequency conversion", Optical Materials Express, v. 2 n. 8, pp. 1020-1025 (2012).
2: Sean McDaniel, Douglas Hobbs, Bruce MacLeod, Ernest Sabatino, Patrick Berry, Kenneth Schepler, William Mitchell, Gary Cook, "Cr:ZnSe laser incorporating anti-reflection microstructures exhibiting low-loss, damage resistant lasing at near quantum limit efficiency", Optical Materials Express, v.4, n.11, pp. 2225-2232 (2014).
KEYWORDS: Damage, Antireflection, Laser, Nonlinear Optics, Motheye, Infrared
Rita Peterson (AFRL/RYDH)
Next Generation Infrared Scene Projector for Testing MWIR Systems
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Sensors
OBJECTIVE: Develop new generation high speed dynamic Electro-Optical (EO) Infrared Scene Projector (IRSP)for Hardware in the Loop (HITL) testing of optical systems operating in Shortwave and MidwaveInfrared spectral range.
DESCRIPTION: Developing optical systems operating in Shortwave and Midwave Infrared spectral range, specifically in 2-5 micron wavelength region, often requires test and evaluation of sensor performance. One way to do this is to set up field targets resembling the intended target properties. However, field tests are very costly. An alternative is to develop an IRSP that would project a virtual target. Then the test and evaluation of the optical system could subsequently be accomplished in the lab environment.Scene generation technology represents a highly specialized field with limited number of vendors and a limited choice of scene generation techniques. Typical IRSP instrument may be broken down into three major components: a high power illumination engine, a high speed spatial light modulator (SLM), and an optical projection engine (aperture).Resistive heaters are the most common sources of radiation in the illumination engine. However, their performance is limited by low maximum apparent temperature (equivalent black body radiation temperature). Another alternative is a laser-based illumination engine, which may produce much higher apparent temperatures, but speckle formation is the major concern with laser-based approach. There are also systems under development that utilize arrays of Light Emitting Diodes (LED). The second essential component of IRSP instrument is a high speed SLM. It may be optional in case of electronically modulated array of light engines. The use of SLM may bring some advantages, because diffractive optical elements may significantly increase the contrast ration of projected images. There are several SLM technologies suitable for IRSP: liquid crystal optical phased arrays, digital micro-mirror devices, grating light valves etc. Additional details about the State of the Art may be found in the references [1, 2, 3, 4].High-speed EO IRSP technology is needed to support higher frame rate EO IR sensors. Highly detailed background and clutter scenes with large polygon counts must be developed and rendered at high frame rates. Outputs from high-speed scene generators need to have selectable frame size and frame rate parameters to support multiple types of IR Sensors. It is acceptable to cascade various projection techniques in order to produce the desired scene.The critical (threshold) requirements for new generation IRSP instrument are: large pixel format (512X512), fast frame rate (100Hz), high contrast ratio (1000:1), high maximum apparent temperature (1000K).While the primary application of this technology is for testing EO IR sensors, military or commercial,essential components of this technology also could be reconfigured for other IR sensing applications.No Government owned equipment will be furnished for Phase I of this research. Future development of the system may require working with the Government on realistic requirements for the system under development.
PHASE I: Develop an innovative concept of the high speed dynamic IRSP, and complete the feasibility study showing the specifications of the proposed design.  The proposed system must satisfy the given critical requirements.
PHASE II: Based on the results of Phase I, develop a prototype of the high speed dynamic IRSP instrument. Propose commercial applications of the developed technology. The proposed use of the technology does not have to be limited to scene projectors. With some modifications, the developed technology may be applicable for IR Sensing as well.
PHASE III: Develop dynamic IR Scene Projector per specifications provided by the Government based on the realistic performance of the proposed device and mission requirements.
1: Igor Anisimov and Yakov Soskind, "Infrared Dynamic Scene Projector"
2: Technical Challenges and System Requirements"
3: , GOMAC Tech Conference (2016). Unlimited (Distribution A) copy of the paper is available, contact the primary author.
4: Greg Frnaks, Joe Laveigne, Tom Danielson, Steve McHugh, John Lannon, Scott Goodwin, "Development of an Ultra-High Temperature Infrared Scene Projector at Santa Barbara Infrared Inc", proc. SPIE 9452, 94520W (2015).
5: Rodney McGee, Fouad Kiamiley, Nicholas Waite, Joshua Marks, Kassem Namha, Garrett Ejcak, Jon Dickason, Jake Benedict, Miguel Hernandez, "512x512, 100Hz Mid-wave Infrared LED Scene Projector", GOMAC Tech Conference, P-50 (2015).
6: Thomas M. Cantley, Gary Ballard, and Don A. Gregory, "Application of Type II W-Quantum-Well Diode Lasers for High-Dynamic-Temperature-Range Infrared Scene Projection", Optical Engineering 47(8), 086401 (2008).
KEYWORDS: Infrared Scene Projector, Hardware In The Loop, Testing And Evaluation
Circulating Diagnostic Markers of Infectious Disease
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Chem Bio_defense, Bio Medical
OBJECTIVE: To provide increased diagnostic capability for diseases caused by biological threat agents. Capabilities sought are intended for use in clinics and forward deployed military medical treatment facilities and must be effective to diagnose disease with high clinical sensitivity within the first 10 days of symptom presentation.
DESCRIPTION: The U.S. Department of Defense seeks to expand diagnostic capabilities for disease caused by Brucella spp., Rickettsia prowazekii and Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis virus. Brucellosis and Typhus are two diseases that present with nonspecific symptoms and have a disease pathology that poses a significant diagnostic challenge for medical personnel. The fastidious growth and intracellular lifecycle of these two bacteria have previously resulted in poor clinical sensitivity when using nucleic acid amplification of genomic DNA as the technical approach. Similarly, Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) detection of Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis virus has been difficult due to a short-lived viremia in the blood before sequestering to regions of the central nervous system. Other diagnostic methods for each of these diseases, such as serological tests, typically miss early phase disease due to a significant delay to seroconvert and often they suffer from issues of specificity. The Circulating Diagnostic Markers of Infectious Disease topic seeks to identify novel infectious agent derived diagnostic markers that are detectable in easily accessible clinical sample types (blood, saliva, urine etc.). Assays for candidate markers using appropriate technical approaches will be developed to demonstrate feasibility and initial performance baselines.
PHASE I: Conduct proof of concept experiments to describe, with supporting data, the specific technical approaches that would be utilized in Phase II to identify novel circulating markers for the following disease agents: • Rickettsia prowazekii / Typhus • Brucella spp. / Brucellosis • Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis virus/ Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis For each of the three diseases listed the proposed approach should address the following key factors: • Diagnostic markers - The proposed approach should identify pathogen derived diagnostic markers that are highly specific to the causative agent, and detectable by nucleic acid amplification or affinity techniques. Host-based markers should be included only by exception due to validation challenges and an unclear pathway to regulatory clearance in the near- to mid-term (2-5 years). • Clinical matrix – The proposed approach should define the matrix or matrices where the diagnostic marker(s) reproducibly accumulate to detectable levels during clinical disease. Clinical matrices that are compatible with Army medical role 3 collection capabilities would be the minimum standard for consideration (whole blood, serum, sputum, urine, stool, nasopharyngeal swab). • Diagnostic window - The proposed approach should define the time period when the analytes accumulate to detectable levels in the clinical matrix. Additional information that defines the expected analyte concentration in each matrix will inform the appropriate detection platform based on analytical capabilities (e.g. lateral flow immunoassay (LFI), immunoassay instrument, etc.). The analytes would preferably be detectable within 10 days of symptom onset which aligns with the movement of patients through the forward deployed medical treatment facilities within the military medical roles of care.
PHASE II: For one of the three biological agents listed above, the proposed technical approach will be executed to identify novel diagnostic targets that can be detected in relevant clinical matrices. Once candidate diagnostic targets have been identified, prototype detection assays will be developed for the purpose of marker validation studies. Prototype assays during Phase II, if necessary, can be highly complex laboratory based methods that are suitable for answering key questions relevant to each marker that will subsequently inform a down-selection to the most promising targets prior to Phase III. Marker validation studies will define: • Clinical matrix selection • Clinical concentration • Diagnostic window • Inclusivity • Specificity By the end of Phase II, the offeror will have executed the refined technical approach for the remaining two disease agents and down-selected to the most promising diagnostic markers.
PHASE III: During Phase III, In Vitro Diagnostic (IVD) instrument and/or assay development efforts will be performed and when successful will be followed by analytical and clinical studies needed for submission to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The preliminary validation data from the down-selected diagnostic targets from Phase II will inform the final design specifications required for the development of IVD assays and instrument with additional considerations for a Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA)1 moderate complexity rating. All development efforts will adhere to industry practices (i.e. design control, quality system management, etc.) required for the end state goal of FDA clearance through the 510(k) or de novo regulatory pathway. Teaming with or licensing of the assay targeting the biomarkers resulting from this STTR effort to a 3rd party IVD device developer is acceptable, subject to the rules governing small business participation in SBIR/STTR Phase III.
1: CLIA Categorizations (n.d.), retrieved December 2nd, 2014 from http://www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/DeviceRegulationandGuidance/IVDRegulatoryAssistance/ucm393229.htm
KEYWORDS: Infectious Disease, In Vitro Diagnostic, Biological Warfare Agent, Biomarkers, Brucellosis, Typhus, Encephalitis
Marburg Virus Prophylactic Medical Countermeasure
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Chem Bio_defense, Bio Medical
OBJECTIVE: Develop a novel prophylactic medical countermeasure that will provide durable protection against Marburg virus exposure.
DESCRIPTION: Marburg virus is a filamentous enveloped non-segmented negative sense RNA virus and was first identified in 1967 during epidemics in Marburg and Frankfurt in Germany and Belgrade in the former Yugoslavia from importation of infected monkeys from Uganda. (1) Marburg virus belongs to the Filoviridae family of viruses and a member of the species Marburg marburgvirus, genus Marburgvirus, and cause Marburg virus disease (MVD) in humans and nonhuman primates, a form of viral hemorrhagic fever. These viruses are considered to be extremely dangerous. The National Institutes of Health (NIH)/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases ranks it as a Category A Priority Pathogen and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists it as a Category A Bioterrorism Agent. The World Health Organization (WHO) rates it as a Risk Group 4 Pathogen. It is also listed as a biological agent for export control by the Australia Group. (1-3) There are two species within the Marburgvirus genus, including Marburg virus (MARV) and Ravn virus (RAVV). The Marburg marburgviruses include at least three strains: Musoke, Angola and Ci67 Popp, and the Ravn marburgviruses include a single strain, Ravn. (4) The very high degree of amino acid conservation amongst the Marburg viruses predicts extensive cross protection. Accordingly, studies have shown the high amino acid conservation across these virus’s glycoproteins (GP) are sufficient for inclusion in vaccines to protect against both endemic and aerosol exposures in animal models.(5) A review of the literature reveals at least 10 vaccine platform systems and approaches have been evaluated in non-human primate studies for their ability to protect against lethal filovirus challenges, including the Marburg viruses; yet no licensed medical countermeasures for the treatment or prevention of Marburg virus infections exist today. (4-6) Public health concern is based on the lack of medical countermeasures to treat or prevent MVD in the face of the emerging infectious disease threat posed by Marburg virus and its documented potential for use as a biological weapon. The case fatality rates in Marburg outbreaks may reach as high as 88-90%. Infection by the Marburg viruses is similar to that of the Ebola viruses and occurs naturally in outbreaks through close contact with infected persons or their bodily fluids, or could occur by aerosol administration. (3) The goal of this SBIR topic is to solicit novel, innovative approaches to develop and advance medical products/medical countermeasures that will prophylactically protect against Marburg virus infections. In addition, the intended product is anticipated to afford recipients durable protection (e.g. months to years duration) and use state-of–the-art technologies in design and production of the prophylactic. Further, because the incidence of natural occurrence in outbreaks is low and unpredictable, and intentional human exposures to Marburg virus are unethical, the proposed prophylactic will be developed and advanced under the guise of the FDA’s 21 CFR Animal Rule.
PHASE I: Proof-of-concept studies will focus on discovery of protective antigen(s) against Marburg virus. Generate hypotheses for types of animal models while summarizing the description of the human disease. Use of computer simulations or other virtual platforms to test hypotheses may be used. Exit criteria for this Phase include identification of Marburg virus protective antigen(s) and specifically why those antigens are hypothesized to protect against Marburg virus.
PHASE II: Address small scale process development, production of material for proof-of-concept animal studies and product characterization. Studies will also demonstrate effectiveness of prophylactic in vitro and generate proof-of-concept in vivo immunogenicity and efficacy data in animals. Exit criteria for the Phase includes the production of the prophylactic in quantities suitable for initiation of in vivo and in vitro testing, demonstration of initial production process and characterization of the prophylactic product, and generation of in vivo immunogenicity and protection data against Marburg virus. PHASE III: Focus on scale-up manufacturing, toxicity and potency assessment in appropriate animal models, followed by cGMP manufacturing, efficacy studies in NHPs, IND submission and clinical trial(s).
PHASE III: PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: An effective prophylactic product against Marburg virus would serve the commercial market with potential application to medical personnel and close contacts during outbreaks in endemic areas of sub-Saharan Africa, with laboratory workers engaged in filovirus research, and with military and civilian personnel threatened by both weaponized and non-weaponized Marburg virus.
1: Slenczka, W. G. The Marburg virus outbreak of 1967 and subsequent episodes. Curr. Top. Microbiol.Immunol. 235, 49–75 (1999).
2: Sanchez A et al. Filoviridae: Marburg and Ebola Viruses. In: Knipe DM, Howley PM, editors. Fields Virology (5th Edition). Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins: 1409-48 (2006).
3: Borio L. Hemorrhagic Fever Viruses as Biological Weapons: Medical and Public Health Management. JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association. May 8
4: 287 (18):2391-405 (2002).
5: Feldmann H, et al. Filoviridae. In: Fauquet C, Mayo MA, Maniloff J, Desselberger U, Ball LA, editors. Virus Taxonomy: VIIIth Report of the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses: London: Elsevier/Academic Press: 645-53 (2004).
6: Hevey, M et al. Marburg virus vaccines based upon alphavirus replicons protect guinea pigs and nonhuman primates. Virology 251, 28–37 (1998).
7: Mohamadzadeh M et al. How Ebola and Marburg viruses battle the immune system. Nature Reviews Immunology 7, 556-567 (July 2007).
KEYWORDS: Biological Warfare Agent, Vaccine; Marburg Virus, Pre-treatment, Prophylactic
Dr. Lucy Ward
Brain Targeting Nanoparticle for Drug Delivery in Traumatic Brain Injury
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Bio Medical
OBJECTIVE: Develop a brain targeted, blood brain barrier permeable, nanoparticle carrier that will deliver drug molecules to the traumatically injured brain. Demonstrate that the carrier has no, or very low, systemic toxicity and is biodegradable. Investigate and validate the effectiveness of this carrier in delivering drug molecules to injured brain.
DESCRIPTION: There are no clinically proven and FDA-approved pharmacological therapies for the acute treatment of TBI patients aimed at mitigating the damaging neurological effects of the injury. Therapies to treat traumatic brain injury have failed to translate from the bench to the bedside. Poor blood brain barrier (BBB) penetration of drugs poses a substantial hurdle to overcome. Nanotechnology-based delivery systems offer a novel drug delivery platform that will allow successful delivery of drug molecules in a controlled manner (1). Nano-carrier systems (intended for drug delivery) are less than one micron in size and normally between 100- 500 nm. Due to the heterogenic pathophysiology of brain injury, multiple drugs may need to be delivered to the brain in order to stimulate neurogenesis, promote axon regeneration, or enhance neuroplasticity that allows the brain to compensate for the incurred injury. To meet the objective of this topic, the nanotechnology-based carrier that will facilitate the delivery of a drug to a targeted area of the brain needs to be identified and defined. Examples of materials that can be used as a nano-carrier include carbon, silica oxides, nanocrystals, lipids, polymers, or dendrimers (2). Consideration of active targeting to a cell to achieve greater specificity by the attachment of a targeting ligand to the surface of the nano-carrier may be explored. A detailed analysis of the predicted performance pertaining to pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamics properties including, but not limited to selectivity, bioavailability, bio-distribution, half-life, stability and clearance will be included as a deliverable. This topic asks for an innovative approach to design a nanoparticle carrier that can be administered by intranasal spray. The carrier needs to target brain tissue, the dose should be low enough to avoid systemic toxicity associated with certain drugs, but be able to attain a therapeutic concentration and be maintained for a sufficient duration of time to reach the desired efficacy (3). The formulation should be compatible with an intranasal delivery device which will allow the military medic to administer the drug at the point of injury without complex invasive procedures.
PHASE I: The STTR performer must design a prototype of the nano-carrier formulation that can address the technical challenges on this topic. The effort should clearly analyze and define the properties of material used for developing the nano-carrier. The nano-carrier should be equipped with appropriate “strategies” to overcome the blood brain barrier which is a major obstacle when delivering drugs to the brain. Theoretical evidence will be provided that supports delivery of a drug to the brain, a specific cell type in the brain, or a structure within a brain cell. Phase I deliverables should include EM-pictures of the nanomaterial and drawings in electronic format that would provide a view of all components of the proposed nano-carrier. If an intranasal delivery system is to be used, physiological factors such as rate of nasal secretion, ciliary movement and metabolism should be considered.
PHASE II: The Performer will design and perform pre-clinical in vitro studies to validate pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamics properties of the nano-carrier including, but not limited to selectivity, bioavailability, bio-distribution, half-life, stability and clearance. The Performer will develop, demonstrate, validate, and show feasibility of the nano-carrier in an animal model. There should be evidence that there is clear discrimination between target tissue and non-target tissue. All research involving animals, shall comply with the applicable federal and state laws and agency policy/guidelines for animal protection. Considerations should include material and process documentation, and verifiable data sets on animal samples. The U. S. Army Medical Materiel Development Activity, Division of Regulated Activities & Compliance (USAMMDA/DRAC) may provide regulatory assistance. The deliverables are the final form of a nano-carrier, which can be made commercially viable, and that can successfully transition to a clinical study. Phase II design, will include refinement of delivery and dosing metrics that can be used to gather efficacy data in a clinical study. The Performer should discuss technical risks of the approach, costs, benefits and plan for development. Phase II will require a detailed plan to test the nano-carrier developed in Phase I in a clinical study. An FDA regulatory plan should be developed during this phase to facilitate regulatory approval when ready. The FDA approval pathway will be outlined and considered at each developmental stage.
PHASE III: Once the product successfully finishes the Phase II, the Performer can seek partnership with a commercial entity or USAMMDA NPH PMO to assist in the advanced development process. Private industry can be sought for the production of prototypes using Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) processes, either by the small business or under license. It is recommended that FDA approval will be obtained for the validation of the nano-carrier delivery platform and tests conducted with it. Additionally, to expand the use of the device to medical diagnosis FDA medical device certification will be pursued. Ideally, the Performer will sponsor the clinical studies necessary to demonstrate selective, targeted delivery to the brain, as well as clinical safety and efficacy. There is a critical need to develop a treatment for TBI. TBI is a predominant cause of injury for soldiers in both combat and non-combat environments with significant implications for long-term health, social and occupational functioning. The civilian market is similarity in need of a treatment for acute TBI.
1: Danyang Wang and Lin-PingWu, Nanomaterials for delivery of nucleic acid to the central nervous system (CNS). Materials Science and Engineering C 70 (2017) 1039–1046
2: Martino et al Nano-Medicine Improving the Bioavailability of Small Molecules for the Prevention of Neurodegenerative Diseases. Current Pharmaceutical Design, 2017, 23, 1-12
3: Kewal Jain, |Nanomedicine. 2012
KEYWORDS: Nanomedicine, Nanoparticle, TBI, Intranasal Delivery, Intravenous, BBB
Dr. Janice Gilsdorf
Dr. Deborah Shear
Additive Manufacturing Sensor Fusion Technologies for Process Monitoring and Control.
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Materials
OBJECTIVE: The Defense Logistics Agency seeks to develop Standardized Additive Manufacturing (AM) procedures that are essential in the DoD acceptance of certified AM parts in the DoD supply chain. DLA Logistics Operations seeks process monitoring and control technologies to address four primary objectives: 1. Provide reduced overhead costs 2. Increase yield, reduce costs and realize repeatable, certified, and affordable parts 3. Reduce fulfillment cycle times and accelerate part supply options and certifications by transferring known part specifications between AM suppliers and technologies 4. Expand and enable a flexible and scalable supply chain where qualified parts are not dedicated to specific AM suppliers, technologies, or dedicated equipment.
DESCRIPTION: The Department of Defense (DOD) demand for out-of-production parts to maintain mission readiness of various weapons system platforms is an ongoing challenge for the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA). DLA’s strategic objective is to enable a flexible supply chain that can accelerate repairs and part replacements utilizing Additive Manufacturing (AM). However, AM technology is relatively new to manufacturing and has many hurdles to overcome before universal adoption as a sustainable solution. As DLA’s suppliers continue to invest in AM solutions for repair and part replacement, DLA is looking to leverage this evolving digital environment to enable a reliable supply chain that is both flexible and scalable. Standardized AM procedures will be essential in DLA’s acceptance of certified AM parts in the DOD supply chain. Of the many elements required to certify parts, process monitoring and control will play a major role in assuring consistent quality achievement across the spectrum of potential suppliers and technology solutions. Various independent sensor technologies have emerged that are capable of monitoring and detecting behaviors within the AM process. Combining multiple sensor technologies provides a more robust understanding of the physical phenomena and could lead to a more capable system informing process stability and part quality. By leveraging sensor fusion techniques it may be possible to create a more complete picture of the process, allowing the technology to be more widely implemented across AM platforms further enabling the DLA supply chain base. With respect to economics, the affordability of AM parts will be largely dependent on the overhead costs to develop part-specific parameters and production scrap rates. Currently, input process parameter development is dependent on geometric features, material properties, feed stock type, power source, individual AM machine variation over time, and many other factors1 2. Process control is imperative to increase yield, reduce costs and realize repeatable, certified, and affordable parts. In addition, the ability to minimize the overhead to validate parts on multiple technologies can have significant impact on the flexibility of the supply chain and the economics of parts supply.
PHASE I: Establish an approach to integrate various “third party” independent sensors, monitoring, and controls into the additive manufacturing process.
PHASE II: Integrate sensors and demonstrate process monitoring and control utilizing various third party sensor systems, as developed in Phase I.
PHASE III: At this point, no specific funding is associated with Phase III. Progress made in PHASE I and PHASE II should result in a functional Open Source System which can transition into the Government or the commercial markets. COMMERCIALIZATION: Expand and enable a flexible and scalable supply chain where qualified parts are not dedicated to specific AM suppliers, technologies, or dedicated equipment.
1: W. J. Sames, F. A. List, S. Pannala, R. R. Dehoff & S. S. Babu, "The metallurgy and processing science of metal additive manufacturing" International Materials Review, 2016. Downloaded by [Oak Ridge National Laboratory] at 08:18 07 March 2016.
2: Spears, T. G., and Gold, S. A., "In-process sensing in selective laser melting (SLM) Additive Manufacturing," Integrating Materials and Manufacturing Innovation, Issue 5, Volume 2, February, 2016.
Cooling System for Laser Enclosure
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Electronics, Weapons
OBJECTIVE: Develop an efficient laser cooling system for heat removal from a laser enclosure system.
DESCRIPTION: Most Naval platforms use a combination of imaging systems with laser emitters for the purpose of real-time active imaging, laser designation, and range finding capabilities. Due to the high output energy requirements from the lasers, there is a need for the development of an additional cooling system for laser enclosures to supplement the conventional closed liquid loop cooler. No interfacing between the primary and secondary cooling systems is necessary. This requirement is mainly driven by the fact that laser head can heat up faster than the rest of the system and ambient temperature of -40°C to 55°C, can be much higher than the internal temperature of the laser enclosure. The system should be designed to be rugged, compact and lightweight enough to be used in Naval aircraft, both fixed and rotatory wing platforms. It is therefore the goal of this program to seek the development of the cooling system for a power-scalable laser system solution that will meet the size, weight, performance and reliability requirements below while considering component costs for future production of the system. The proposer should consider this development as the innovative advancement and combination of laser and supporting technologies towards the goals stated below; and their design should focus mainly on cooling the laser head; however, the cooling system must be designed such that it cools down the laser head and minimizes the heat throughout the entire system as specified by the internal temperature requirement. The performance objectives of the cooling system are; 1. Maintain consistent internal temperature of 25°C with the laser head being cooler than the overall internal temperature at approximately 10°C. 2. Thermal management largely driven by an internal temperature limit of 65°F and the fact that ambient temperature may be significantly higher than the required internal temperature. 3. The cooling system must dissipate heat in the order of ~20KJ. 4. Ability to be ruggedized and packaged to withstand the shock, vibration, pressure, temperature, humidity, electrical power conditions, etc. encountered in a system built for airborne use per MIL-STD-810G 5. Weight of approximately 125 pounds. 6. Physical size of 16 x 15 x102 inches. 7. Reliability: mean time between equipment failure of 300 operating hours. 8. Full Rate Production Cost: Threshold <$50,000; Objective <$15,000 (based on 1000 units).
PHASE I: Define and develop a concept for a viable and robust cooling system solution that meets or exceeds the requirements specified in the description. Identify technological and reliability challenges of the design approach, and propose viable risk mitigation strategies. The Phase I effort will include plans to develop a prototype under Phase II.
PHASE II: Design, fabricate, and demonstrate a laser system prototype based on the design from Phase I. Test and fully characterize the system prototype.
PHASE III: Using Phase II test results and Navy feedback, finalize the design, fabricate a ruggedized laser system solution, and assist with efforts to obtain certification for flight on a NAVAIR R&D aircraft. High-power, pulsed lasers have applications in manufacturing and lithography. An efficient cooling system for the lasers used for drilling or etching would help stabilize the laser beam divergence and increase the accuracy of the cutting process.
1: Tuckerman, D. B. et al. "High Performance Heat Sinking for VLSI." IEEE Electron Device Letters, May 1981, Vol. 2, Issue 5, pp. 126-129. http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/1481851/
2: Bland, T. J. et al. "A Compact High Intensity Cooler (CHIC)." SAE Technical Paper 831127, 13th Intersociety Conference on Environmental Systems, San Francisco, Calif., July 11-13, 1983. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/260903319_A_compact_high_intensity_cooler_CHIC
3: MIL-STD-810G, DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE TEST METHOD STANDARD: ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING CONSIDERATIONS AND LABORATORY TESTS (31 OCT 2008). http://everyspec.com/MIL-STD/MIL-STD-0800-0899/MIL-STD-810G_12306/
KEYWORDS: Cooling System; Heat Control; Temperature Control; Heat Stability; Designator; Target Marker
Detection Rate Improvements Through Understanding and Modeling Ocean Variability
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Battlespace
OBJECTIVE: Improve the detection rate of targets through the understanding and modeling of ocean variability resulting in a robust model that can eventually be incorporated into mission planning software.
DESCRIPTION: Variance in transmission loss (TL) between an acoustic source and a target can have a profound effect on detection performance using low-frequency (50 – 3000 Hz) active acoustics. This variance has often been observed in real data, but is not well-captured in modeling, simulation, or post-test reconstruction. While ambient noise or reverberation is a prominent contributor to signal excess in the sonar equation, it cannot be controlled, is easily measured, and has shown reproducibility between like measurements. However, unlike ambient noise, TL has shown a large variance between like measurements. This poor repeatability of measurements is especially challenging where detections are made at the threshold (i.e. close to or at 0 signal excess). If this variability can be well understood in terms of the ocean environment then it would allow for a more accurate prediction that will aid test planning as well as post-test reconstruction. In underwater acoustics the ocean environment, characterized by the sound velocity, current, and depth profiles, determines the exploitable propagation path to gain detections. One such path is the surface duct. This duct is often present in the top 600 feet of the ocean, where sensors and targets can be easily deployed. Such an environment causes TL variability [Ref 1], a phenomenon known to be frequency dependent. Basic oceanographic and acoustic research results on surface duct are available in the literature [Refs 2-3]. Several pieces of physics resulting in TL variability have been suggested, including sea surface scattering [Refs 4-5] and sound energy leaking out of the duct [Ref 6]. Models typically treat the surface duct as two-dimensional and static. In reality, the duct could be three-dimensional and dynamic. While models exist to deal with such spatial and temporal variability, the ocean is often not sampled enough for these models to be useful (a single sound velocity profile, for example). The need exists to develop a stand-alone surface duct software model based on ocean physics that takes into account ocean variability and measured TL variance to aid asset placement in test planning and offer detection uncertainty. This modeling effort would later be expanded to include surface and bottom interactions and allow the model to compute TL variance over the complete water column. Work produced in Phase II may become classified. Note: The prospective contractor(s) must be U.S. Owned and Operated with no Foreign Influence as defined by DOD 5220.22-M, National Industrial Security Program Operating Manual, unless acceptable mitigating procedures can and have been implemented and approved by the Defense Security Service (DSS). The selected contractor and/or subcontractor must be able to acquire and maintain a secret level facility and Personnel Security Clearances, in order to perform on advanced phases of this contract as set forth by DSS and NAVAIR in order to gain access to classified information pertaining to the national defense of the United States and its allies; this will be an inherent requirement. The selected company will be required to safeguard classified material IAW DoD 5220.22-M during the advance phases of this contract.
PHASE I: Analyze a series of Government-furnished acoustic data sets with ducted propagation and provide a preliminary reconstruction of the acoustic environment. During the Phase I Option, if awarded, develop a concept for a surface duct model that can predict the observed acoustic environment variability. With the use of highly sampled (many sound speed profiles) data sets and hind cast ocean model data, further develop the model to provide increasingly accurate sensor level outputs. The Phase I effort will include plans for a Phase II.
PHASE II: Expand the model to include bottom returns. Bottom loss and bottom reverberation are currently treated as two separate quantities: Bottom Loss as part of TL, and reverberation is fitted by Lambert’s Law with variable Mackenzie's coefficient. In reality, however, the two quantities are related by geo-acoustics of the bottom and should be treated in a uniform manner. The goal is to generate sensor-level signals which are from the bottom return. This allows consistent TL and reverberation treatment, rather than artificially separating them into reflection and scattering. At the end of the phase the developed model can be employed as a sensor-level simulator that may mimic real system performance. It is probable that the work under this effort will be classified under Phase II (see Description section for details).
PHASE III: Verify and validate the model. Integrate it into an engineering version of a tactical decision aid, such as the Multistatics Planning Acoustics Toolkit (MPAcT). The developed technology will benefit the oceanographic community to include academic/research and oceanographic mission planners, as well as the oil exploration industry.
1: Acoustic transmission in an ocean surface duct, performed by U.S. Navy Electronics Laboratory, San Diego, California, and analyzed by Arthur D Little, Inc., Dept. of the Navy, Naval Ship Systems Command, NO bsr – 93055, Project Serial Number SF 101-03-21, Task 11353, Nov 1966. https://ia600500.us.archive.org/12/items/acoustictransmis00usna/acoustictransmis00usna.pdf
2: Porter, M. B., Piacsek, S., Henderson, L., and Jensen, F. B. "Surface duct propagation and the ocean mixed layer." Oceanography and Acoustics Prediction and Propagation Models, 1st ed., edited by A. Robinson and D. Lee (AIP, New York, 1993), pp. 50-79. ISBN: 1563962039. http://trove.nla.gov.au/work/11481132?selectedversion=NBD10719975
3: Jensen, F. B., Kuperman, W. A., Porter, M. B., and Schmidt, H. Schmidt. "Computational Ocean Acoustics", 2nd ed. (Springer, New York, 2011), pp. 494-495. http://www.springer.com/us/book/9781441986771
4: Vadov, R. "Acoustic propagation in the subsurface sound channel." Acoustical Physics, January 2006, 52, pp, 6–16. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1134/S1063771006010027
5: Mellen, R. & Browning, D. "Attenuation in surface ducts." The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. 63, pp, 1624-1626. http://asa.scitation.org/doi/abs/10.1121/1.381859
6: Weston, C. Esmond, and Ferris, A. Ferris. "The duct leakage relation for the surface sound channel." The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. 89, pp. 156–164 (1991). http://asa.scitation.org/doi/abs/10.1121/1.400521
KEYWORDS: Ocean Variability; Transmission Loss; Modeling; Mission Planning; Underwater Acoustics; Surface Duct
Mary Eileen Farrell
Repurposing Computational Analyses of Tactics for Training Assessments
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Info Systems, Human Systems
OBJECTIVE: Design and develop a software technology that leverages data science and advanced computational analyses of tactical data sources to improve training scenarios and assessments and make training more adaptive, efficient, and effective.
DESCRIPTION: Emerging warfare capabilities offer a great many new tactical options to commanders. However, this also increases the demands on decision-makers during operations. The dynamic and complex nature of integrated warfare results in training challenges to prepare for those engagements. As the complexity of Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures (TTPs) increase, testing in part via computational simulation and optimization is necessary. Such analyses systematically vary tactical applications of the warfare capability to a variety of threat scenarios, simulate and score each encounter, and generate a ranked list of the most successful tactics per threat. The scenarios, measures, and knowledge generated in this type of work are rich and voluminous, providing opportunities to leverage data science. A software technology solution able to re-use analytic data outputs (e.g., mission analysis, TTP analysis, modeling and simulation testing, aircraft system data logs) for populating training content is desired. Specifically, two means to re-use data are sought: 1) the capability to generate scenario libraries, and 2) the ability to improve integrated assessments of human tactical skills to make training more efficient and effective. Technical approach and underlying data science methods integrated into a software solution should demonstrate a means to output instructionally sound scenario that require minimal human-in-the-loop interaction while reducing the time to prepare training scenarios through automation when compared to hand coding initial conditions for semi-automated forces. Further, the software solution should make recommendations for training objectives and automate development of performance measures that complement training scenario outputs to ensure that scenarios train desired skills and provide a means to assess learners.
PHASE I: Design methods and determine the feasibility of a software that can repurpose the output of data analyses (e.g., mission analysis, TTP analysis, modeling and simulation testing, aircraft system data logs) to generate recommendations for tactical training scenarios and assessments in complex warfare capabilities. Demonstrate the feasibility of data science approaches for use in a software technology solution. Risk Management Framework guidelines should be considered and adhered to during the development to support information assurance compliance. In preparation for human subjects’ experiments in Phase II, research protocols and Institutional Review Board (IRB) applications should be developed and submitted. The Phase I effort will include prototype plans to be developed under Phase II.
PHASE II: Develop prototype software technology that leverages data science approaches to repurpose the output of data analyses to support tactical training scenario and assessment (i.e., performance measures) generation in complex warfare capabilities. Conduct human factors analyses to ensure the usability of the prototype software. Conduct human subjects’ experiments that validate training effects and benefits of auto-generated scenario and performance measurement outputs of the software technology for a single-use case. Risk Management Framework guidelines should be considered and adhered to during the development to support information assurance compliance.
PHASE III: Expand the development of the software technology to additional use cases and aviation platforms. Demonstrate the reliability and validity of system outputs for effective tactical training scenario and assessment (i.e., performance measures) generation in complex warfare capabilities. Complete the process to seek a standalone Authority To Operate (ATO) and/or support a transition training site to incorporate the developed training solution into an existing ATO depending on transition customer’s desire. Conduct test and integration activities with target transition data analysis outputs and training system inputs. Improvements in technology to repurpose data analysis outputs is applicable to all military and commercial systems where system generated logs (e.g., commercial aviation) are collected. Further, technology developed in this STTR topic would be applicable to most military systems where data is output in one stage of the acquisition process (e.g., modeling and simulation testing) to increase re-use for reduction of resources and/or schedule in later stages. In the training environment, this type of technology also provides an opportunity to increase the effectiveness and fidelity of training scenarios while increasing instructional capabilities through relevant performance assessment tools.
1: Kitchin, R. "Big Data, new epistemologies and paradigm shifts." Big Data & Society, April-June 2014, I-12. http://bds.sagepub.com/content/1/1/2053951714528481.full.pdf+html
2: Fan, J., Han, F., and Liu, H. "Challenges of Big Data Analysis." (Published 05 February 2014) National Science Review, Volume 1, Issue 2, 1 June 2014, Pages 293-314. http://nsr.oxfordjournals.org/content/1/2/293.short
3: "Top 50 Big Data Platforms and Big Data Analytics Software." Data Science Platform. http://www.predictiveanalyticstoday.com/bigdata-platforms-bigdata-analytics-software/#content-anchor
4: Labrinidis, A. and Jagadish, H. V. "Challenges and Opportunities with Big Data." Journal Proceedings of the VLDB Endowment, Vol. 5, Issue 12, August 2012, pp 2032-2033. http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=2367572
5: Risk Management Framework (RMF) for DoD Information Technology (IT)F. www.esd.whs.mil/Portals/54/Documents/DD/issuances/dodi/851001_2014.pdf
6: Risk Management Framework: https://rmf.org/
KEYWORDS: Data Science; Training; Performance Assessment; Human Factors; Data Analytics; Training Development
Next-Generation, Power-Electronics Materials for Naval Aviation Applications
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Materials, Electronics, Weapons
OBJECTIVE: Develop wide-band gap (WBG) electronic material systems for naval aviation applications.
DESCRIPTION: The energy optimized aircraft (EOA) technology concept is continually evolving and being recognized as a game-changer for war fighting capabilities. The main objective of EOA is to systematically replace on-board hydraulic and pneumatic systems with electrical systems to power flight controls, landing gear, and engines starts. The key feature of EOA includes a switch from AC (alternating current) to DC (direct current) power distribution to allow exchanges of energy between equipment, which minimizes electromagnetic interferences (EMI) and energy dissipation, and allows regeneration of air-powered electrical power systems (EPS). Power electronics is the discipline that deals with electrical power generation, distribution and energy storage by conversion, control, and management of electrical power. However, the power conversion forms for electrical power categories (i.e., generation, transmission, and use/storage) differ significantly. For example, the main AC power must be converted to DC power for electronic devices; circuits require DC-DC conversion from one voltage level to another; and DC power from renewable energies (i.e., batteries, solar cells, and fuel cells) can be converted to AC electrical power. Power electronics is a key enabling technology for the advancement of EOA to improve both generator (mechanical to electrical) and actuator (electrical to mechanical) energy conversion and includes novel materials capable of withstanding high temperature and high-power density with reduced weight used in Navy-unique, harsh environmental conditions including EMI. With Next Generation Air Dominance (NGAD) on the horizon, it is important to realize the full potential of power electronics to achieve high power and volume density, high efficiency, reliability, and affordability. A wide band gap (WBG) system would have a positive impact on the next-generation aircraft platform by combining secondary power distribution with emerging power electronics. The current distribution system is made up of bulky, low-efficiency, mechanical-based circuit breakers, contactors, and control systems. Replacing such components with power electronics transforms inefficient systems into simple and intelligent power solutions. With diagnostic and prognostic capabilities, power distribution becomes compact and efficient, which results in significant cost, energy, fuel, and weight savings. Thus, modernization of Navy aircraft is enabled though the application of a WBG system. Switch-mode power circuits (i.e., the electronic circuits utilizing switching frequencies) use two types of semiconductor-based switches: two-terminal rectifiers (diodes) and three-terminal switches (transistors). These switches include inherent material properties, such as electron mobility and thermal conductivity [Ref 1], which result in salient features such as the following: (1) high blocking/breakdown voltage [1-10 kilo Volt]; (2) low loss (conversion efficiency of 99%); (3) large current-carrying capacity (kilo Ampere range); (4) high operational frequency (i.e., 1-100 gigahertz]); (5) high-temperature tolerance (i.e., 300 deg C); and (6) low specific ON-contact resistance [~ 0.01 milliohm cm2]. [Ref 2] These devices are silicon (Si)-based and have several advantages and disadvantages. Advantages include that they operate efficiently, are mass produced, are affordable and reliable, and are used in low-power and low-voltage applications. Disadvantages include that the devices have ohmic losses and generate more heat at higher switching frequencies, which necessitate a complex thermal management solution with a limited operating temperate range. The failure rates of the devices double for every 10 deg C increase in temperature. In short, the limits of the physical properties of Si-based devices are fast approaching, which are hindering further progress. Currently naval electronic applications with Si-based devices operate up to 125 deg C. As the demand for high-voltage devices for switching applications increases, a need exists for materials with much higher breakdown fields. Silicon Carbide (SiC), gallium Nitride (GaN), and gallium arsenide (GaAs) materials within electronics have band-gaps up to 3X higher than that of 1.12 electron volts, and hence WBG materials are the choice for next-generation power electronics. WBG devices can operate at a voltage 10 times higher than Si-based power devices because of their higher maximum electric fields and operating temperatures well over 350 deg C. The higher-temperature operation eliminates the need for complex thermal management solutions such as heat sinks and cooling media. WBG systems have the ability to switch at higher frequencies, enabling equipment to drastically reduce in space, weight, and cost. A high-voltage system has the potential to use lightweight materials, resulting in weight savings for the wires and overall aircraft. WBG systems eliminate up to 90% of power losses currently occurring in the energy conversion process and impart huge energy benefits. Challenges associated with the WBG systems include: (1) the hurdles in crystal growth, both from wafer size (6 inches or more) and drastically-reduced, defect densities (i.e., 5000/cm2), need to be overcome; (2) the devices need to exhibit higher power density (i.e., 3MW/m3) to be more efficient (> 98%) and must be affordable (up to 10X reduction from the current price of $1,000/mm2); (3) the processing temperature for SiC (> 2000deg C) compared to Si is high, which requires innovation in synthesis and processing of these classes of materials; and (4) the yield for WBG materials is much lower than Si, resulting in a high market price. Other remaining challenges include identifying substrate materials, epitaxial film growth, and the back-end process of solving interface, interconnect, and package issues towards successful device development and integration. The reliability and durability (i.e., mean-time-between-failure of 2,000 hours) of the devices to meet various MIL-STD specifications for electrical power quality, environmental control, and EMI are major hurdles to overcome [Refs 3-5].
PHASE I: Establish the structure-property relationship for WBG systems (i.e., SiC, GaN, and GaAs). For instance, demonstrate feasibility of improved wafer quality (up to 8 inches) by reducing the dislocation defect density with salient device features. Apply modeling and simulation tools as necessary. The Phase I effort will include prototype plans to be developed under Phase II.
PHASE II: Based upon Phase I results, fully develop the technology into a prototype and demonstrate on an electrical power system application.
PHASE III: Fully develop the airworthy product with performance specifications satisfying targeted acquisition requirements (e.g., F/A-18, MQ-8B, and H-60) coordinated with Navy technical point of contacts. Improve the technology readiness level/manufacturing readiness level (TRL/MRL) of the electrical power system component and transition to platform (F/A-18, MQ-8B, and H-60). For such a representative aircraft EPS, demonstrate the positive SWaP-C (space, weight, and power - cooling) benefits of the relevant showing compactness, high electrical and thermal efficiencies, and miniaturization leading to a next-generation power generation system architecture for EOA. Demonstrate hardware with in-the-loop testing, along with the electrical load analysis of EPS, as an integral part of this effort. The effort will result in developing compact, miniature electronic products that will benefit automobile and consumer electronic market sectors.
1: Wide Bandgap Power Electronics Technology Assessment, https://energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2015/02/f19/QTR%20Ch8%20-%20Wide%20Bandgap%20TA%20Feb-13-2015.pdf
2: Tolbert, L. M., Ozpineci, B., Islam, S. K., and Chinthavali, M. "Wide Bandgap Semiconductors for Utility Applications." IASTED International Conference on Power and Energy Systems (PES 2003), (Palm Springs, CA), page 315 and references therein. http://web.eecs.utk.edu/~tolbert/publications/iasted_2003_wide_bandgap.pdf
3: MIL-STD-810G(1) – Department of Defense Test Method Standard: Environmental Engineering Considerations Laboratory Tests (15 Apr 2014). http://quicksearch.dla.mil/qsDocDetails.aspx?ident_number=35978
4: MIL-STD-461G – Department of Defense Interface Standard: Requirements for the Control of Electromagnetic Interference Characteristics of Subsystems and Equipment (11 Dec 2015). http://quicksearch.dla.mil/qsDocDetails.aspx?ident_number=35789
5: MIL-STD-704F(1) – Department of Defense Aircraft Electrical Power Characteristics (05 Dec 2016). http://quicksearch.dla.mil/qsDocDetails.aspx?ident_number=35901
KEYWORDS: Power Electronics Materials; Wide-band Gap Systems; Wafers; Power Electronic Equipment; Aircraft Applications; Affordable Cost
Innovative Processing Techniques for Additive Manufacture of 7000 Series Aluminum Alloy Components
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Materials
OBJECTIVE: Develop an innovative additive manufacturing (AM) process to successfully produce 7000 series (e.g., 7075 and 7050) aluminum alloy components.
DESCRIPTION: Naval aircraft components are commonly produced with 7000 series (e.g., 7075 and 7050) aluminum alloys due to their weight, strength, and fatigue properties. Current additive manufacturing (AM) methods fall short of successfully producing 7000 series aluminum alloys due to the reflective nature of the material. In addition, current AM methods, lacking ideal thermal control, print inherently defective products with such issues as poor surface finish and high residual stresses. During AM processing of aluminum, defects could arise due to thermal stresses and a "Hot Tearing" effect of the alloy during solidification when the component rapidly cools, going from a very high melting temperature to the machine’s environmental temperature. This high rate of cooling introduces large residual stresses that often deform the part being produced. Microstructural issues such as residual porosity and rough surface finish are very common with current AM methods due to oxidation. An innovative AM process is sought to successfully produce 7000 series aluminum alloy aircraft components. The novel process should accurately control the thermal profile locally and globally during component fabrication and reduce defects due to oxidation. Resulting components should demonstrate microstructural, mechanical and dynamic properties that are at least equivalent to, but preferably better than, traditionally produced parts and have minimal to no distortion per drawing tolerances. An innovative AM process has the potential to improve operational readiness, reduce total ownership cost, and enable on-demand parts manufacturing for naval aviation.
PHASE I: Develop a proof of concept for a novel AM process for use with 7000 series aluminum alloys. Demonstrate its feasibility to process 7000 series AM aluminum alloys to address defects (e.g., porosity, hot tearing, residual stress, and microstructural issues). The Phase I effort will include prototype process plans to be developed during Phase II.
PHASE II: Fully develop the novel AM process to fabricate a series of coupons and naval aircraft components. Perform coupon level testing, in accordance with ASTM E8, to fully characterize the resulting mechanical properties and non-destructive inspection (NDI) to verify microstructural properties, such as grain size and orientation, achieved through the AM process. Demonstrate the capability of printing geometrically accurate aircraft components with complex geometry, per pre-existing tolerances, and verified by a laser scan.
PHASE III: Fully develop an AM process to fabricate naval aircraft components that can be integrated into the fleet. Conduct final component level testing to demonstrate the mechanical and microstructural properties of the AM components meet or exceed traditionally manufactured components. The process developed through this effort will improve the quality of additively manufactured 7000 series aluminum parts. The process will be directly applicable to a wide range of commercial applications, due to the high amount of usage of 7000 series aluminum in the commercial/private aerospace industry. The proposed process will allow industry to apply the benefits of AM technology to many critical aircraft components.
1: Ruettimann, C., Bartlome, R., and Dury, N. "Reproducible Copper Welding." Industrial Laser Solutions for Manufacturing, September/October 2013. http://www.industrial-lasers.com/articles/print/volume-28/issue-5/features/reproducible-copper-welding.html
2: Griffith, M.L., Keicher, D.M., Atwood, C.L., Romero, J.A., Smugeresky, J.E., Harwell, L.D., and Greene, D.L. "Free Form Fabrication of Metallic Components using Laser Engineered Net Shaping (LENS)." Proceedings of the Solid Freeform Fabrication Symposium, August 12-14, 1996, Austin, TX, p. 125. https://www.osti.gov/scitech/biblio/366460
3: Rubenchik, A., Wu, S., Mitchell, S., Golosker, I., LeBlanc, M. & Peterson, N. "Direct measurements of temperature-dependent laser absorptivity of metal powders." Applied Optics, August 2015. https://www.osapublishing.org/ao/abstract.cfm?uri=ao-54-24-7230
4: Hendriks, A. & Naidoo, D. "The generation of flat-top beams by complex amplitude modulation with a phase-only spatial light modulator." University of KwaZulu-Natal, 2012. http://proceedings.spiedigitallibrary.org/proceeding.aspx?articleid=1380168
5: Okunkova, A. and Volosova, M. "Experimental approbation of selective laser melting of powders by the use of non-Gaussian powder density distributions." Moscow State University of Technology, 2014. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1875389214002405?via%3Dihub
6: ASTM E8 / E8M-16a, Standard Test Methods for Tension Testing of Metallic Materials, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2016, www.astm.org/standards/E8.htm
KEYWORDS: Additive Manufacturing; High Strength Aluminum; Part Quality; Residual Strength Mitigation; Surface Reflectivity; Cost Reduction
Non-Destructive Concrete Interrogator and Strength of Materials Correlator
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Materials, Weapons
OBJECTIVE: Develop a non-invasive and non-destructive way of evaluating concrete strength of material properties and behavior along with relevant spatial and statistical information associated with them.
DESCRIPTION: Building materials such as Conventional Strength Concrete (CSC), High Strength Concrete (HSC) and Ultra High Performance Concrete (UHPC) may vary significantly from their intended design specifications in terms of their strength of materials behavior and intrinsic material properties, along with their spatial distribution. Deviation is to be expected given variation in mixing materials, workmanship, and other quality assurance considerations from the processing of these building materials. Despite these variations, the Navy needs the ability to confirm/dispute these physical and strength of material parameters on the as-built and cured object and provide uncertainty bounds with respect to the original material specifications. Currently, this capability is limited to selected laboratory strength of materials estimates, which are seldom relatable to inherent material models useful to the Navy. Given these challenges, there is a need for an innovative, non-destructive, and non-invasive solution that allows the Navy to assess the different strength of materials and intrinsic properties associated with cured and/or previously built concrete structures. The solution must be capable of assessing objects made with concrete (CSC, HSC, and UHPC) that may take the form of complex geometrical structures, slabs, columns/cylinders, cubes, concrete cores, and other bulk geometries to include full sized structures. It must be a combination of non-invasive and non-destructive hardware sensors and corresponding analysis software capable of evaluating a concrete sample/object and confirm the strength of material properties along with other intrinsic properties of said object with associated uncertainties and spatial distributions. Intrinsic properties of interest include, but are not limited to: density, sound speed, bulk compressibility, and Specific Heat Capacity at constant volume. Strength of material properties include, but are not limited to: Bulk, Young’s and Shear modulus, Poisson’s ratio, Yield Strength, Ultimate Strength, and Unconfined Compressive Strength. The design must be clearly focused on quantifying the data needed to populate property values useful in defining an Equation of State, Strength of Material, and other Constitutive/Damage models such as that defined by the Holmquist Johnson Cook (HJC) Concrete. All data must be useful for inclusion into high-performance hydrocode material model definitions and be outputted as variable pair values data in a clear text file along with a graphical depiction through the software solution. The proposed solution must be able to operate in two potential scenarios—an internal laboratory assessment and a field deployment whereby the out-of-laboratory hardware/sensor solution must be portable (total size and mass not to exceed 6 cubic feet and 20lbm). Additionally, it must be capable of being operated by one test engineer in the field. The field-capable hardware/sensor solution must be ruggedized to applicable Military Standards (similar but not limited to MIL-STD 810) and be able to temporarily store all of the data sensed/captured internally during the sample’s evaluation phase. Sensing of the physical and strength of material property data during an out-of-laboratory scenario must not take longer than 15 minutes per measurement and allow for a quick assembly and disassembly time of not more than 15 minutes respectively. A visual or graphical depiction of the data collection and completion process must be included in the proposed solution for both the laboratory and field systems. Data collected in this field deployment scenario and parameters computed therefore must be within 15% of those collected and parameters computed in a laboratory for the same material/sample/core. No hardware/sensor size nor weight constraint are instituted for the laboratory scenario allowing for a higher fidelity assessment of the data collected therein. The hardware/software calibration features must be available prior to a sample’s evaluation phase for both envisioned scenarios and take no longer than 30 minutes for both. For both scenarios, the hardware/sensor solution must be able to communicate to a portable laptop computer and allow compatibility with Windows and Linux Operating Systems (OS). The software/analysis compliment for the solution must be able to analyze concrete objects (or sections of an object) that vary in total mass from 1lbm to 200 tons and thicknesses ranging from 5 inches to 25ft for the field deployment scenario, while the laboratory sample scenario must be able to analyze similar components ranging in total mass from 1lbm to 100lbm, and thicknesses ranging from 5 inches to 4ft. The software/analysis solution must process the data collected in either scenario, and deliver results within 30 minutes allowing for a visual output of the data with information regarding the spatial distribution (two- or three-dimensional) and uncertainty bounds/calculations. The solution must include clear instructions (e.g., user’s manual or similar) covering calibration, setup/configuration, and post-processing of the data collected in order to properly obtain desired results.
PHASE I: Identify and evaluate potential technologies/methodologies applicable for the solution. Demonstrate the feasibility of a preliminary design of the hardware, software, and methodology solution, including identification of necessary resources. Create a preliminary engineering development plan along with an evaluation of potential numerical methodologies and calibration plans to include potential ruggedization of the field-deployable version. In addition, create a proposed Graphical User Interface (GUI) design for the analysis software, analysis logic flow, and computational development plan. An assessment on which of the parameters are useful in populating a HJC-Concrete material model would be quantified, and an evaluation of the methodology used in ascertaining the intrinsic and strength of material/constitutive/damage properties. The Phase I effort will include prototype plans to be developed under Phase II.
PHASE II: Develop a working prototype to include applicable testing of the suite of hardware/sensors. Demonstrate the performance of the proposed solution in both in-field and laboratory scenarios with comparison of the output data from using more traditional strength of material concrete testing. Complete analysis software and demonstrate in the post-processing of various concrete samples/objects that range in size. Demonstrate spatial assessment of the strength of materials as well as other physical properties useful in building an HJC-Concrete material model along with the establishment of uncertainty bounds on the data/model values. Deliver source code, design specifications, engineering layouts, configuration, and user’s manual for Government evaluation.
PHASE III: Transition hardware and software solution to the U.S. Navy for use in daily analysis of concrete structures/objects. Receive feedback from users and release updates addressing feature requests and bug fixes. Enhance the visual and graphical capabilities useful in future assessments. Document and incorporate enhancements into solution updates. Complete a Verification and Validation report for the entire solution along with its associated modules/packages. Deliver updated hardware and software solution along with final user’s manual. Commercial applications involve DoD contractors supporting the Tri-Service community, the Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Coast Guard, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Federal Highway Administration supporting their different concrete quality assurance and evaluation efforts.
1: Wight, James K. and MacGregor, James G. "Reinforced Concrete: Mechanics and Design, 7th Edition." http://www.chegg.com/textbooks/reinforced-concrete-7th-edition-9780133485967-013348596x http://www-pub.iaea.org/MTCD/publications/PDF/TCS-17_web.pdf
2: "Guidebook on non-destructive testing of concrete structures." Training course series No. 17. International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna, 2002. http://www-pub.iaea.org/MTCD/publications/PDF/TCS-17_web.pdf
3: Helal J., Sofi, M. and Mendis, P. "Non-destructive testing of concrete: A review of methods." Special Issue of the Electronic Journal of Structural Engineering 14(1) 2015. http://www.ejse.org/Archives/Fulltext/2015-1/2015-1-9.pdf
4: Holmquist, Johnson and Cook. 14th International Symposium on Ballistics, 1993 Vol.2, pages 591-600.
5: Warhead Mechanisms and Terminal Ballistics. 1993
KEYWORDS: Concrete; Ultra-high Performance Concrete; Model Development; Noninvasive; Strength Of Materials; Hydrocode
Detect and Avoid Certification Environment for Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAVs)
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Electronics
OBJECTIVE: Develop a software application capable of assessing the level of safety of various detect and avoid (DAA) technologies as they might be integrated on an unmanned aircraft (UA) operating in representative operational environments.
DESCRIPTION: In order to operate in civil and military airspace, Navy UA use DAA technologies and procedures to facilitate sharing airspace with other aircraft. The capability to operate safely anywhere in the world must be demonstrated before the UA receives approval for operational missions. Due to the potentially catastrophic consequences of error in the operation of the DAA systems, rigorous safety analyses are required to gain confidence in system effectiveness before deployment of the UA into airspace with manned aircraft. Safety analysis should be conducted to determine whether the DAA sensor system’s performance (e.g., detection ranges, field of view, etc.) provide the UA operator timely and adequate information to maintain separation from intruding cooperative and non-cooperative aircraft by executing appropriate avoidance maneuvers with very low false track rates presented to the operator. Develop a tool to assess the UA safety through the evaluation of the probability of a near mid-air collision (NMAC) and loss of separation given encounters under various conditions (e.g., intruder types, latencies) in operationally representative environmental conditions. Example analyses include assessing the probability of maintaining separation for the set of practical worst-case encounters or for a large collection of realistic encounters representative of the operational airspaces. The desired capability should utilize Government-provided encounter model data and UA flight characteristics to simulate UA and intruder motion through the closest point of approach (CPA). Aircraft motion should be consistent with the UA 6 degree of freedom maneuver model utilizing Government-provided inputs. The Government-identified DAA sensor and operational environment should be modeled with sufficient fidelity to accurately compute projected CPA and separation achieved by avoidance maneuvers. The application should have the capability to represent various equipage configurations (to be identified by the Government) on the UA, including radar and potentially electro-optic and infrared sensors. Ultimately, the application should provide time histories of the UA and the outcome of the encounter (e.g., whether or not a separation violation occurred) along with risk ratios as a basis in evidence for safety case-based certification. While approaches exist that address elements of the required analyses, no comprehensive and flexible approach exists that addresses the scope and detail needed.
PHASE I: Design, develop, and demonstrate feasibility of a comprehensive and detailed architectural description of the software application. Identify all inputs (e.g., DAA sensor models, encounter characteristics, maneuver models, latencies) and outputs (e.g., risk ratios, encounter statistics). Identify sources of necessary inputs such as airspace characterizations. Describe and justify the level of fidelity of individual models. Validate the approach using a variety of representative problems. Prepare a complete application development plan, including prototype plans to be developed under Phase II.
PHASE II: Develop, demonstrate, and validate the prototype application for use within the Navy. The validation cases and metrics will be provided by the Navy. Prepare a Phase III development and support plan to transition the technology to the Navy.
PHASE III: Perform any final testing and fully transition the technology to the Navy. Extend the application to support DAA sensor certification by civil authorities. Successful technology development should be equally applicable for the analysis of DAA sensors for certification in national airspaces governed by civil authorities.
1: Kochenderfer, M. J., Edwards, M. W., Espindle, L. P., Kuchar, J. K., & Griffith, J. D. "Airspace Encounter Models for Estimating Collision Risk. Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics." March 2010, 33(2), pp. 487-499. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/245433739_Airspace_Encounter_Models_for_Estimating_Collision_Risk
2: Lutz, R., Frederick, P., Walsh, P., Wasson, K., & Fenlason, N. "Integration of Unmanned Aircraft Systems into Complex Airspace Environments." Johns Hopkins APL Technical Digest, Volume 33, Number 4 (2017). http://www.jhuapl.edu/techdigest/TD/td3304/33_04-Lutz.pdf
3: "Use of International Airspace by U.S. Military Aircraft and for Missile and Projectile Firings." DoDI 4540.01, June 2, 2015. https://fas.org/irp/doddir/dod/i4540_01.pdf
KEYWORDS: Unmanned Aircraft; Encounter Modeling; Sensor Modeling; Radar; Detect And Avoid; Safety Certification
Additive Manufacturing for Naval Aviation Battery Applications
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Materials, Space Platforms
OBJECTIVE: Leverage additive manufacturing (AM) for innovative battery design, fabrication, packaging, and integration.
DESCRIPTION: Naval aviation uses electrochemical storage devices, such as batteries, for aircraft emergency power, avionics, weapons, and other equipment. These devices broadly belong to primary and secondary rechargeable batteries with different types of material chemistries such as lithium/MnO2, lead-acid, nickel-cadmium, and lithium-ion. Battery chemistries have evolved over the decades where the desired key performance parameters (KPPs) are energy density >700Wh/L, specific energy >200Wh/Kg, power density >1500W/Kg, light weight, high cycle >2000 cycles and calendar life > 6 years, environmental friendliness, and affordable cost without compromising on safety, which is paramount for Navy applications. Battery development efforts are focused on improving the energy and power density without compromising safety. To date, Li-ion batteries with ~3X power and energy density and ~1/3 weight are replacing the matured lead-acid and nickel-cadmium batteries chemistry technologies. Efforts are underway to develop next-generation batteries, with Li-S and Li-O2 having up to 10X theoretical energy density compared to Li-ion battery chemistries. These battery cells, modules, and packs are packaged in rigid, metal containers and pouches in various geometries. The degrees of freedom associated with such rigid form factors are limited, and pose major challenges for battery encapsulation, packaging, and integration. As such, a need exists for compact, flexible batteries that could also be conformal to the structure. Eliminating bulky containers that house cells removes the deadweight of the batteries and improves their energy density. Such batteries will have a huge impact not only on naval aviation batteries, but also on flexible and wearable sensor technologies powered by batteries. Electrode materials with novel architectures (i.e., composite, three-dimensional (3D)) have the potential to improve both ionic and electronic conductivity (a.k.a., transport phenomena of electrochemical devices), resulting in increased energy density per volume and weight with high Columbic efficiency while maintaining high cycle life, a stable solid-electrolyte interphase (SEI), and improved safety. Such high energy-density, electrode materials reduce the amount of material needed to make cells as well as the number of cells needed for building the pack and battery module. As a result, the amount of supporting hardware material needed to assemble the battery is reduced, resulting in positive cost benefits ($400/KWh). There is an immediate need for disruptive battery manufacturing technologies that meet the energy, power, packaging, interconnect, and integration requirements for current and next-generation batteries. Innovative two-dimensional (2D) and 3D architectural designs for the fabrication and integration of batteries compatible with the large-scale manufacturability are key enablers. Technological advancements that provide paradigm shifts in electrochemical device design, manufacturing to accommodate novel geometries, materials, non-traditional processing, and fabrication methods to improve reliability and costs are needed. AM, commonly known as "3D printing," is a set of legacy and emerging technologies that fabricate parts using a layer-by-layer technique where material is placed precisely as directed from a 3D digital file [Ref 1]. AM is a suite of manufacturing processes made up of techniques such as extrusion and dispenser printing, inkjet printing, screen printing, material extrusion, directed energy deposition, and powder bed fusion. The material in each layer may be polymer, ceramic, metal, or composite depending on the application. AM techniques offer revolutionary approaches to design, fabrication of battery cells with high power and energy density with improved safety, and customized production manufacturing. AM enables new design innovations, higher performing build parts, short lead time, fast prototyping, supply chain and inventory benefits, construction of complex parts, smaller runs, and consolidation of complex assemblies into single parts. New topologies that were not previously possible are now possible with AM, which frees constraints imposed by conventional manufacturing processes where different components are pieced together given the limitations of stamping out current collector metals/electrodes when they are no longer needed to allow better material properties, optimum designs, novel packaging, and integration concepts to emerge [Ref 2]. The degrees of freedom associated with the AM process eliminate packaging and integration challenges and allow flexible and integral configuration layouts along with novel material properties, thereby positioning the technique for a functional device fabrication with flexible form factors. Successful development has the potential to allow batteries to be printed in the field. Although AM is promising, its full potential can be realized if the following challenges are overcome, including ensuring that the AM processes are robust to maintain battery performance, not only during the fabrication process but also during long-term usage for reliability [Refs 2-5]. The software challenges associated with creating 3D digital files still remain, and the software tools to design, model, and develop electronic files have not matched hardware development. Even though computer-aided design tools have made tremendous progress, their applicability to AM for complex designs is still evolving. AM is an innovative technique that allows the fabrication of customized, freeform products and opens new design spaces for battery applications. It is currently applicable only to niche markets with low-volume production of customized parts. As such, low costs and high-production speeds are necessary for mass production. The developed system must be compatible and functional with the existing aircraft operational, environmental, and electrical requirements [Refs 5–8]. The requirements include, but are not limited to, an altitude of up to 65,000 feet, electromagnetic interference of up to 200V/m, operation over a wide air temperature range from -40°C to +71°C with exposure of up to +85°C [Ref 5], and withstand carrier-based vibration and shock loads [Ref 6]. The AM- based battery system must meet additional requirements such as low self-discharge (< 5% per month) and high Coulombic efficiency (> 95%). The AM-based battery system must have diagnostic and prognostic capabilities to ensure safe operation and service life of the battery. Firms must build prototype battery cells with demonstrated functionality in Navy relevant operating conditions and a fully functional integrated battery system. [Refs 5-8].
PHASE I: Develop novel design approaches for both hardware and software, and demonstrate feasibility to fabricate batteries using AM processes as a proof of concept. Phase I will include plans to develop a prototype during Phase II.
PHASE II: Build prototype battery cells and demonstrate AM benefits in improving battery KPPs specified in the description section as compared to baseline cells. Demonstrate the functionality of battery cells under Navy-relevant operating conditions.
PHASE III: Complete a fully functional battery product and demonstrate unique AM integration, processing, and packaging concepts to improve reliability and produce lower $/KWh costs. Commercial aerospace, automobile, and consumer electronics markets will hugely benefit with batteries developed by AM techniques. In these industries, the technology should be considered a game-changer.
1: Frazier, W. E. "Metal Additive Manufacturing: A Review", Journal of Materials Engineering and Performance, June 2014, Volume 23, Issue 6, pp. 1917-1928. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11665-014-0958-z
2: Cobb, C. & Ho, C. "Additive Manufacturing: Rethinking Battery Design. The Electrochemical Society Interface, Spring 2016, pp 75-78. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/303532082_Additive_Manufacturing_Rethinking_Battery_Design
3: Sun, Ke, Wei, Teng-Sing, Ahn, Bok Yeop, Seo, Jung Yoon, Dillon, Shen J., and Lewis, Jennifer A. Lewis. "3D Printing of Interdigitated Li-ion Microbattery Architectures." Adv. Materials, 2013, 24, 4539-4543 and reference therein. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/239942285_3D_Printing_of_Interdigitated_Li-Ion_Microbattery_Architectures
4: 4. Kyeremateng, N. A. "Self-organized TiO2 Nanotubes for 2D or 3D Li-Ion Microbatteries", ChemElectroChem, 2014, 1, pp. 1442-1466. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/celc.201402109/abstract
5: 5. MIL-PRF-29595A- Performance Specification: Batteries and Cells, Lithium, Aircraft, General specification for (21 Apr 2011) [Superseding MIL-B-29595]. http://everyspec.com/MIL-PRF/MIL-PRF-010000-29999/MIL-PRF-29595A_32803/
6: 6. MIL-STD-810G – Department of Defense Test Method Standard: Environmental Engineering Considerations Laboratory Tests (31 Oct 2008). http://everyspec.com/MIL-STD/MIL-STD-0800-0899/MIL-STD-810G_12306/
7: 7. MIL-PRF-461F – Department of Defense Interface Standard: Requirements for the Control of Electromagnetic Interference Characteristics of Subsystems and Equipment (10 Dec 2007). http://everyspec.com/MIL-STD/MIL-STD-0300-0499/MIL-STD-461F_19035/
8: 8. NAVSEA S9310-AQ-SAF-010, (15 July 2010). Technical Manual for Batteries, Navy Lithium Safety Program Responsibilities and Procedures. http://everyspec.com/USN/NAVSEA/NAVSEA_S9310-AQ-SAF-010_4137/
KEYWORDS: Additive Manufacturing; Electrochemical Device; Battery; Novel Designs; Fabrication; Reliability
Situational Awareness for Mission Critical Ship Systems
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Info Systems
OBJECTIVE: Develop machine learning and data analytics methods that enhance state and situational awareness (SA) for shipboard machinery systems.
DESCRIPTION: The Navy is planning to develop, qualify, supply, and maintain a standard, Navy-owned, software baseline for surface ship machinery control and condition monitoring systems (MCS). Enhancements to the MCS baseline shall be capable of running on a JAVA virtual machine. This MCS software baseline will have a common look and feel, operating system, algorithmic infrastructure, application interfaces, and qualification and transition process for new software modules, across all future delivered surface platforms. This will include robust cybersecurity assurance. The software products developed under this STTR topic are primarily algorithmic in nature (vice standalone products that are directly human-usable upon delivery), and as such will be incorporated and integrated directly into the algorithmic base of the standardized MCS baseline, using all the pre-established guidelines, processes, and procedures thereof. Naval vessels are replete with state-of-the-art sensors that monitor vital ship and auxiliary system functions. Battle situations or other circumstances that create rapid loss of offensive, operational, communication, and auxiliary capacity present a series of challenges to operators tasked with rapidly restoring capabilities. Lack of prioritization of the importance and larger contextual meaning of multiple alerts can prevent the operator from rapidly reclaiming optimum state awareness for both the human operator and the autonomous control system. New tools and technologies are required to support current alerts and control systems and help improve situational certainty so that best-fit responses are applied as soon as possible. Major gains have been made in autonomy and Augmented Intelligence (AI), but additional work is required for both automated response and operator situational awareness to produce faster and better decisions. Advances in data science, data fusion, and machine learning show promise in effective management of continuous streams of data to supplement current control systems, producing higher informational accuracy in less time and getting the right data to operators when needed to produce more optimal crisis responses. The use of cognitive technology and machine learning can process sensor data rapidly and analyze events, find patterns, paths, and options for configuring auxiliary system capabilities with much greater speed and agility than those reliant solely on human interpretation and decision making. Innovative methodology will provide real-time decision tools, as the integration of high-energy weapons and sensors requires the machinery systems to coordinate the delivery of power and cooling resources in an optimal manner to support sustained combat operations. This advanced state awareness methodology must be compatible with control methods being developed under the Robust Combat Power Control Future Naval Capability Program. It is necessary to communicate intent to the machinery control system, present options for solutions to plant alignments and resource allocations, maintain SA even in the event of battle damage, and present the right alarms and information in a manner that does not overload the human operator but rather elicits information from the human in a fashion complementary to the machine intelligence. This topic seeks to use various data fusion technologies for analysis of unstructured data (text, images, etc.) and structured (signal feeds, database items, etc.) information to make determinations and useful observations around the context of the information combining data sets for automated decision support and predictive capabilities. Information collected from equipment and sensors are expected to be combined with other contextual information to provide more advanced predictive models and recommended actions. Leveraging historical situational data, best practice scenarios, and other data collected from past events can help to provide operators with valuable insights and recommendations for potential actions not previously available. The software products developed are primarily algorithmic in nature (vice standalone products that are directly human-usable upon delivery), and as such will be incorporated and integrated directly into the algorithmic base of the standardized MCS baseline, using all the pre-established guidelines, processes, and procedures. A machine learning system can also provide a pathway to better item-specific predictive maintenance based upon analytics and learning over time. The cognitive system that this topic addresses could also use data collected from a wide range of venues to develop predictive maintenance schedules based on patterns, and actual utilization of specific critical components like generators and pumps. The solution sought will develop a user interface that allows an operator view data quickly from numerous components alongside suggestions and patterns based upon past data or reoccurring incidents from related components to allow them to provide prioritized recommended actions. The goal is not to replace human interaction and decision-making, rather it is to support the operator by leveraging AI technologies that combine data, locate patterns more rapidly, and provide operators with a more comprehensive view of their present situation.
PHASE I: Develop a concept for Situational Awareness for Mission Critical Ship Systems for Naval Applications that meet the requirements described above. The small business will demonstrate the feasibility of the concept in meeting Navy needs and will establish that the concept can be developed into a useful product for the Navy. Feasibility will be established by component evaluation and analytical modeling. The Phase I option, if awarded, will include the initial layout and specifications to build the prototype in Phase II. Develop a Phase II plan.
PHASE II: Based on the results of Phase I and the Phase II Statement of Work (SOW), the small business will develop a prototype for evaluation. The prototype will be evaluated to determine its capability in meeting the performance goals defined in Phase II SOW and the Navy requirements for Situational Awareness for Mission Critical Ship Systems. System performance will be demonstrated through prototype evaluation and modeling or analytical methods over the required range of parameters including numerous deployment cycles. Evaluation results will be used to refine the prototype into an initial design that will meet Navy requirements. The small business will assess integration and risk and develop a Software Development Plan (SDP). The small business will prepare a Phase III development plan to transition the technology to Navy use.
PHASE III: Support the Navy in transitioning the technology for Navy use. The small business will develop Situational Awareness for Mission Critical Ship Systems according to the Phase II SOW for evaluation to determine its effectiveness in an operationally relevant environment. The small business will support the Navy for test and validation to certify and qualify the system for Navy use. The Navy is planning to develop, qualify, supply, and maintain a standard, Navy-owned, software baseline for surface ship machinery control and condition monitoring systems (MCS). This MCS software baseline will have a common look and feel, operating system, algorithmic infrastructure, application interfaces, and qualification and transition process for new software modules, across all future delivered surface platforms. This will include robust cybersecurity assurance. Complex decision tools capable of alert prioritization and state awareness can provide significant advantages in the fields of medicine and finance. Advanced cognitive controls are in demand in manufacturing, industrial facilities in hazardous environments, space, shipbuilding, and in system management of power plant and electric grid control.
1: LeCun, Yann, Yoshua Bengio & Geoffrey Hinton. "Deep Learning." Nature International Weekly Journal of Science, Volume 521, Issue 7553, 27 May 2015. http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v521/n7553/abs/nature14539.html
2: Ngiam, J., A. Khosla, M. Kim, J. Nam, H Lee, and A.Y. Ng. "Multimodal Deep Learning." Proceedings of the 28th International Conference on Machine Learning, Bellevue, WA, USA, 2011. http://machinelearning.wustl.edu/mlpapers/paper_files/ICML2011Ngiam_399.pdf
3: Schmidhuber, Jürgen. "Deep Learning in Neural Networks: an Overview." Neural Networks, Volume 61, January 2015, Pages 85–117. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.neunet.2014.09.003
KEYWORDS: Alert Prioritization; Deep Learning; Multimodal Learning; Informational Dosing; Augmented Intelligence; Data Fusion
In Situ Marine-Grade Aluminum Alloy Characterization for Sensitization Resistance and Stress Corrosion Cracking Prediction
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Materials
OBJECTIVE: Development of a fieldable system and the associated algorithms to allow for in-situ characterization and quantification of the inherent variability of commercially available high-magnesium 5xxx series aluminum alloys.
DESCRIPTION: Aluminum alloys have become more prevalent in marine structural applications with the Navy’s need to build lighter, faster ships. The high magnesium 5xxx alloys, such as 5083 and 5456, are the best candidates, maximizing specific strength, corrosion resistance, and as-welded strength. Of particular concern, however, is the alloy’s susceptibility to sensitization. Aluminum sensitization has occurred when a nearly continuous network of beta-phase forms along the grain boundaries. The beta-phase is anodic to the aluminum matrix, and when exposed to the corrosive effects of seawater and sufficient loading, provides a clear pathway for stress corrosion cracking (SCC). The degree of beta-phase precipitation is driven by a combination of time and elevated temperature. The location and rate of beta-phase formation depends on material processing. The operating environment for Navy ships is particularly harsh, with wide variations in temperature and constant exposure to seawater. Aluminum alloys currently in service are subject to sensitization, which increases the potential to experience SCC, exfoliation, or inter-granular corrosion, often necessitating the repair or replacement of compromised material and has the potential to increase the total ownership cost across the life of a ship. Both Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) variants utilize 5xxx series aluminum alloys. Due to cracking issues experienced on the CG-47 Cruiser class, the ability to predict sensitization and stress corrosion cracking onboard both LCS and the future Frigate (should it use aluminum structure) has become of particular interest. Current commercially available technologies are not predictive. Technologies such as the destructive ASTM G67 test have been developed and allow for the detection of sensitization at a single point in time, but do not allow for extrapolation to the likelihood of SCC. The Degree of Sensitization (DoS) Probe is a non-destructive test for determining level of sensitization, but is time consuming and is not capable of analyzing confined spaces (e.g., areas with corners/beams where the probe is unable to fit). In situ metallography images the microstructure of the material, but is qualitative in nature and unable to predict long-term susceptibility to sensitization and SCC. This topic seeks robust SCC prediction tools for commercially available high-magnesium 5xxx series aluminum alloys procured under the ASTM B982 specification. The goal is to develop a system and the associated algorithms to allow designers and maintainers to perform in-situ characterization and quantification of the inherent variability in material microstructure to directly link variability to the actuality of stress corrosion cracking through confirmation testing. All algorithms should be developed using open architecture design principles, as practicable, with the larger objective of being incorporable into planned and future SCC prediction tools. Companies shall address their proposed methods and processes of gathering and displaying data as well as the ability for the developed algorithms to be integrated with future SCC predictive algorithms and tools. Extreme variability in sensitization resistance adds significant complexity to the issue. As a result of aluminum plate processing (manufacturing), the level of sensitization can significantly differ between lots of material that are subjected to the same heat treatment, with the rate of beta-phase precipitation varying by up to 40 times for aluminum plates procured to the ASTM B928 specification. A more in-depth understanding of processing history and resultant material microstructure is necessary to quantify the rate of sensitization and the inherent variability in the procured materials. Quantifying specific microstructural features, such as, grain size, grain orientation, precipitates, dislocation density, etc., will lead to a better understanding of when SCC is expected to initiate during the lifetime of the ship. These algorithms will then allow for a more in-depth understanding of microstructural response, leading to a more robust ability for predicting the likelihood of material failure because of SCC. Outcomes could also help inform ship design processes and allow for more accurate predictions of when repair and maintenance decisions may be necessary. Proposed solutions should be man-portable for demonstration and for use in an open-air ship, shipyard, or repair-yard environment. Concepts should be able to fit through a standard Navy watertight door with dimensions of 26 ½” x 66” and must be weight compliant in accordance with MIL-STD-1472H. Additionally, the solution must be able to investigate deck and bulkhead areas as small as 12 inches in diameter. The test cycle should not be more than 1 hour per sample area from set-up to delivery of results. Of particular interest are final solutions that are non-destructive allowing for some method of surface preparation that does not require hot work to repair. Solutions must not use hazardous chemicals and should be usable by ship, shipyard, repair center, or industrial maintenance activities.
PHASE I: Develop a concept for a fieldable, man-portable system to allow designers and maintainers: 1) to perform in situ characterization and quantification of the inherent variability in material microstructure in high-magnesium 5xxx series aluminum alloys procured to the ASTM B982 specification and 2) to directly link such variability to the actuality of SCC. Propose a concept, conduct the supporting analysis and feasibility of the concept, and develop the initial concept design and model key elements of the proposed technology. The Phase I Option, if awarded, will include the initial design specifications and capabilities description to build and test prototype solutions in Phase II. Develop a Phase II plan.
PHASE II: Develop and deliver a fieldable, man-portable prototype system and calibrate prototype performance through confirmation testing and evaluation based upon the results of the Phase I and the Phase II Statement of Work (SOW). As necessary, perform coupon testing in a laboratory environment to validate developed algorithms for accuracy and reliability; and establish a corresponding working materials database. A proposed test plan for U.S. Navy acceptance, business case analysis including a plan for manufacturing, and corresponding materials database must be included as part of the final report of Phase II accomplishments.
PHASE III: Support the Navy in transitioning the technology to Navy use, and Navy test and evaluation done in accordance with the test plan developed in Phase II, ensuring that the delivered algorithms and associated prototype(s) perform as expected and are robust enough for use in the target environments referenced within the topic. The technology can expect to transition to LCS and potentially all platforms using 5xxx series aluminum for marine structural applications (e.g.. Future Frigate, CG, Ship-to-Shore Connector [SSC], Expeditionary Fast Transport [EPF]). 5xxx series aluminum alloys are widely used in commercial marine structures. Products resulting from this topic would have wide application for all commercial ships using marine grade aluminum.
1: Golumbfskie, W.J. Tran, K.T. et al. "Survey of Detection, Mitigation, and Repair Technologies to Address Problems Caused by Sensitization of Al-Mg Alloys on Navy Ships" Corrosion: The Journal of Science and Engineering. February, 2016. http://www.corrosionjournal.org/doi/abs/10.5006/1916?code=nace-prem-site
2: Zhang, S.P. Knight, R.L. Holtz, R. Goswami, C.H.J. Davies, N. Birbilis, "A Survey of Sensitization in 5xxx Series Aluminum Alloys" Corrosion: The Journal of Science and Engineering, September, 2015. http://www.corrosionjournal.org/doi/full/10.5006/1787
3: ASTM International, ASTM G67, "Standard Test Method for Determining the Susceptibility to Intergranular Corrosion of 5XXX Series Aluminum Alloys by Mass Loss After Exposure to Nitric Acid (NAMLT Test)". May, 2013. https://www.astm.org/Standards/G67.htm
4: ASTM B928/B928M-15, "Standard Specification for High Magnesium Aluminum-Alloy Products for Marine Service and Similar Environments". June, 2015. https://www.astm.org/Standards/B928.htm
5: MIL-STD-1472G, "Department of Defense Design Criteria Standard: Human Engineering (11-Jan-2012)." http://everyspec.com/MIL-STD/MIL-STD-1400-1499/MIL-STD-1472G_39997/
KEYWORDS: Corrosion In Aluminum Alloys; Sensitization Of Aluminum Alloys; Stress Corrosion Cracking (SCC) Of Aluminum; Aluminum Alloy; High Magnesium 5xxx Alloys; Processing Variability In Aluminum Alloys
Non-Destructive Evaluation (NDE) of Missile Launcher Ablatives
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Weapons
OBJECTIVE: Develop a non-destructive evaluation (NDE) method for measuring the remaining life of ablative material in situ for Navy ducted missile launchers.
DESCRIPTION: The Mk 41 Vertical Launching System (VLS) is a general-purpose missile launcher system capable of supporting air, surface, and underwater engagements. As part of a ship’s total weapon system, the Mk 41 VLS includes the necessary equipment to stow, identify, select, and schedule a mix of Anti-Air Warfare (AAW), Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW), and Anti-Surface Warfare (ASuW) missiles. The Ship's Weapons Control System provides the interface to the launcher to route the required electrical signals to and from the missile. Missiles are launched perpendicular to the ship’s reference plane from canisters positioned below deck to permit rapid engagement of targets in a 360-degree hemispherical volume. A baseline VLS configuration for the U.S. Navy consists of eight reloadable 8-cell modules that provide a total launch capability of 64 missiles. Missiles used in VLS utilize solid rocket motors with aluminized propellant. The Mk 41 VLS utilizes a ducted exhaust system. In each 8-cell module, missile rocket motor exhaust is routed from the missile canister into a common plenum, then through an uptake (chimney) and vented into the atmosphere. Ablative panels made from polymeric composites line the internal structure of both the plenum and uptake. These ablative panels are location dependent and vary in thickness from 0.375-2.000 in. and in sizes up to 2 x 4 feet. Since the rocket motors utilize aluminized propellant, the expended propellant gas contains particles that erode the composites. The erosion of the ablative panels determines the life of the module structure. A new methodology that non-destructively examines the ablative lining in situ to determine the condition and remaining life of the ablative lining will provide a better way to predict the life of the launcher. Currently, launcher life predictions are based on erosion measurements taken from a few modules used in test programs. The process requires gathering data before and after launches for a differential analysis. Measurements are made with a Coordinate measuring machine. These measurements are compared to baseline measurements to obtain the differences in thousandths of an inch. This methodology cannot be applied to the modules in the fleet because the initial conditions are not recorded on those modules. Modules also need to have several firings before valid erosion data can be gathered as the ablative materials need to “season” before the wear becomes consistent. The equipment requires extensive setup and cleaning of the ablative material, which is time consuming. In addition, only ablative thickness is measured. Chemical and physical changes are not recorded even though they are occurring. An innovative technology is needed to collect data on modules in the fleet aboard ship. The technique must utilize non-destructive means that do not interfere with subsequent function of the ablative lining. The information gathered by this new method will be used to create a NDE that can be correlated to support predictions as to the amount of ablative protection remaining after missile launches. The goal is to use the data gathered to evaluate the remaining ablative life and efficiently determine if the life of the launcher module can be extended. The technology will be developed on the current polymeric composite ablative materials used in the Mk 41 VLS system (MXB-360 and MKBE-350). The collected data will include ablative material changes such as thickness measured in thousands of an inch and any physical and chemical changes that occur. The data collection will need correlation with a repeatable methodology to provide a high confidence in determining the remaining launcher ablative life. The Government will provide pertinent launcher technical data and have access to a land-based, full-size launcher to support its concept development. This new technology will be used to make improved prediction on ablative material lining life.
PHASE I: Define and develop a concept to non-destructively measure ablative material linings in situ in Mk 41 VLS. Feasibility will be established through modeling and analysis. Characterization parameters will meet those in the description of the topic. The Phase I Option, if awarded, will include the initial design specifications and capabilities description to build a prototype in Phase II. Develop a Phase II plan.
PHASE II: Based on the results of Phase I modeling and analysis, and the Phase II Statement of Work (SOW), design, develop, and deliver a prototype of a new non-destructive measuring method for ablative material linings in situ for the Mk 41 VLS. Either a small-scale (laboratory) demonstration on representative launcher material or a strong analytical simulation showing the potential solution is required. The prototype will clearly demonstrate the ability to accurately provide the needed information for determining the stated parameters in the description. The demonstration can take place at either a Government or company facility. The small business will prepare a Phase III development plan to transition the technology for Navy production and potential commercial use.
PHASE III: Assist the Navy in transitioning the full-scale prototype via a full-scale test on a Navy ship (Guided Missile Destroyer (DDG) or Guided Missile Cruiser (CG)). Assist the Navy in establishing the prototype’s capability via installation and procedural support on the chosen platform. Also support the Navy in qualification and certification reviews (Navy safety boards) as appropriate. If the Navy deems the prototype to be a valid capability for measuring the life of the launcher ablative material, a full technical data package will be produced to support future procurement. This technology is applicable to items or systems implementing NDE of ablative materials, such as the automotive, aircraft, and construction industries.
1: "MK 41 Vertical Launch System (VLS) - Proudly Serving Navies the World Over." Lockheed Martin 2013 http://www.lockheedmartin.com/content/dam/lockheed/data/ms2/documents/launchers/MK41_VLS_factsheet.pdf
2: Fiore, Eric. "A Promising Future for US Navy: Vertical Launching System." Defense Systems Information Analysis Center Journal, Vol 1 No 2, 2014. https://www.dsiac.org/resources/journals/dsiac/fall-2014-volume-1-number-2/promising-future-us-navy-vertical-launching
3: Pike, John. "MK 41 Vertical Launch System (VLS)." Military Analysis Network. 1999. https://fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/ship/weaps/mk-41-vls.htm
KEYWORDS: Ablative Panels; Polymeric Composite; Missile Launcher; Propellant Gas; Composites Erosion; Ablative Lining
New Integrated Total Design of Unmanned Underwater Vehicles (UUVs) Propulsion System Architecture for Higher Efficiency and Low Noise
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Ground Sea
OBJECTIVE: Develop modeling tools to design a new integrated propulsion system to increase the overall propulsion efficiency and reduce the acoustic noise signature of Unmanned Underwater Vehicles (UUVs).
DESCRIPTION: With the Navy’s focus on the development and fielding of UUVs, there is a heightened need for efficient vehicle propulsion systems. These systems will allow the respective UUV to realize and achieve its maximum range, duration, and capability. As a result, energy management and efficient propulsion remains a fundamental limitation of UUVs. As more stress is placed on autonomy requiring more power intense sensors and computing, not having to compromise range and duration will necessitate the most efficient use of power for propulsion. What is performed currently to design a UUV propulsion system is a market survey and piecing together the adequate components. This methodology might provide a propulsion system for the UUV, but it is often far from optimized for the UUVs structure, mission, and size, weight, and power (SWaP) requirements. Due to this increased Navy need, the subject Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) seeks the development of a propulsion system design toolkit that is parametrically validated through prototype evaluation and resulting in a Fleet-delivered design. The intention of the design tool and ultimate propulsion system design is to optimize and increase the overall propulsion efficiency and reduce the noise signature of underwater vehicles. The new propulsion system design tool will ensure scalable performance when applied to different UUVs sizes, from micro-UUVs to Large Diameter Unmanned Underwater Vehicles (LDUUVs). The model will integrate the following components into a single simulated system: electrical energy storage (batteries or equivalent) system, transformation and distribution (electrical/electronic components) systems, conversion into mechanical energy (harmonic drive), including any energy transfer losses, and final conversion into effective thrust and vehicle operation. It is expected that the model will provide a multi-objective optimization algorithm that will iteratively act on the physical and geometrical parameters of each virtual prototype component converging onto the optimum characteristics of the propulsion plant as a whole. This type of approach is fundamentally different from a traditional design approach, where each component is designed and optimized individually, but when assembled as a system, it does not provide the most efficient and lowest radiated noise approach. Additionally, this traditional approach methodology ignores important interaction effects that may prevent the convergence on the best overall performance of the system. The proposed integrated co-simulation approach is the key to enable the evaluation of several non-linear interactions, such as dynamic effects due to transients, which are typically neglected in traditional design approaches based on steady-state performance characteristics. The use of widely recognized, open-source, high-level interface protocols will ensure the best compatibility and interfacing capability of the numerical propulsion system simulator with existing and future modules/components. The system development capability will be based upon high-fidelity physics-based dynamic simulation models of the whole propulsion chain, starting from the propulsion power supply, and continuing to, and including, the propeller. In using the modeling capability, it is expected that it will facilitate the investigation of new propulsor technology using unconventional blade designs, including either open or ducted propellers. Some possible propeller solutions include those with high rake and tip skew, tip loaded propellers, and newer unconventional blade sections with reverse camber. The basis for the decision for which propeller design is included in the system will be based on optimum and efficient performance in transitional flow. Further, it is expected that the model will also facilitate the investigation of prime movers offering high torque at low speed, and ensuring high efficiency and silent operation, including those prime movers (i.e. motors) custom designed for the particular applications. Some examples of the applicable recipient systems include the current Knifefish vehicle being used for mine detection, localization, and identification; and the Large Diameter UUV, which is 48” in diameter and offers a payload capacity that lends the vehicle to multiple missions.
PHASE I: Developing the structure for a physics-based numerical simulation model capable of designing and predicting the performance of a UUV propulsion system. Demonstrate the feasibility of that concept by presenting l analyses aimed at developing a prototype propulsion system design to replace an existing UUV design, or of a new UUV, depending on the availability of vehicles. The analyses can be seen as trade studies, where the propulsion system design is optimized for range, duration, and low noise, yet leaving adequate power for the sensors intended for the vehicle. The Phase I Option, if awarded, will address the structure of the model that includes all aspect of a UUV propulsion system. The model structure will integrate the electrical energy storage (batteries or equivalent) system, transformation and distribution (electrical/electronic components) systems, conversion into mechanical energy (harmonic drive), including any energy transfer losses, and final conversion into effective thrust and vehicle operations. Phase I will include plans for a prototype to be developed during Phase II.
PHASE II: Build upon the model structure deliverable from Phase I and refine it to provide the capability for optimizing the efficiency of UUV. If the design is prototyped on an existing UUV prototype, the new design shall show measurable improvement in propulsion efficiency approximately two to four-fold from existing propulsor designs of comparable power. If the design is prototyped on a new UUV design, the performance comparison will be made with the closest existing replica. If the prototype design is installed on an existing design or forms the basis of a new vehicle design, the prototype will be scrutinized to validate the predictions of the model. The company will prepare a Phase III development plan to transition the technology for Navy validation and accreditation.
PHASE III: Support the Navy in evaluating the prototype delivered in Phase II and the transition of the technology to Navy use. To validate the final optimal design, a full-size prototype UUV propulsion system will be built and integrated to a Government-furnished vehicle. The propulsion system and vehicle will be evaluated through a set of qualifying tests based on expected operational areas, and desired missions. Testing will include those needed for qualifying a system ready for Fleet issue, or at least ready for Fleet turnover allowing for Sailor evaluation. Further, commercial use could span to improving marketed UUVs used for oil and gas, and historical exploration. The expected deliverable from the subject effort will lead to efficient and low-noise UUVs regardless if the vehicle is used for military use or not.
1: Brown M., et al., "Improving Propeller Efficiency Through Tip Loading," 30th Symposium on Naval Hydrodynamics, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia, 2-7 November 2014
3: Gaggero S., et al. "Design and analysis of a new generation of CLT propellers." Applied Ocean Research, 59: 424–450, 2016. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0141118716302279
4: Farhoo, Fariba. "Enabling Quantification of Uncertainty in Physical Systems (EQUiPS)." Defense Applied Research Projects Agency (DARPA). http://www.darpa.mil/program/equips
KEYWORDS: Unmanned Undersea Vehicle (UUV); Propulsor Design; Hydrodynamics; Radiated Acoustic Noise; Propulsor Efficiency; Propeller Design
Effects of Defects within Metal Additive Manufacturing Systems
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Materials
OBJECTIVE: Develop and demonstrate an empirical database of allowable process defects and variations to aid quality control and nondestructive evaluation of additively manufactured metal components.
DESCRIPTION: Additive manufacturing (AM) systems, especially metal AM, bring revolutionary capabilities, but suffer from a lack of understanding of the defects that exist within the components. Developing a database of the effects of defects, such as mechanical performance and material properties within an additively manufactured component, will provide a means of certifying these components at a more rapid rate without having to perform traditional “brute force” type methods of destructively testing large numbers of components. Current commercial efforts to quantify the effects of defects on additively manufactured components focus on this sort of brute force testing, with an emphasis on expensive micro computed-tomography imaging and extensive destructive testing in order to qualify a printed component. The database developed during this project will provide a faster response manufacturing capability to the Navy with increased flexibility. The Naval fleet suffers from long lead times to obtain replacements for broken, worn, or otherwise failed parts. AM technology has the potential to reduce supply chain issues and enable new designs through unique layer-by-layer fabrication capabilities. The significant advance in AM technology recently has been demonstrated in the private sector – the most visible recent example being General Electric’s LEAP Turbine Engine fuel nozzle, where an assembly of dozens of components was reduced to a single printed part and qualified by extensive destructive testing, but no existing commercial database is available as a product. To enable the Navy to harness metallic AM capabilities for end-use items, the ability to identify the effects of defects within additively manufactured components is critical. Parts manufactured by metal AM typically suffer from a combination of several defect types that can inhibit the functional performance of a part, and reduce confidence in designing parts for this manufacturing method. A system for quantifying the effect of defects on printed parts is desired. As defined by MIL-STD 2035A, such defects can be porosity, inclusions, large-scale voids, and chemical inconsistencies, and all of these can affect the mechanical performance and material properties of a printed component. The desired system would quantify the effect of these various defects, establish an allowable defect frequency for printed parts, and be applicable across multiple material types and AM systems, especially laser and electron beam powder bed fusion as well as directed energy deposition. The desired system’s performance goals would be to: (1) Provide a method for nondestructively locating and classifying defects within a printed part quickly, with minimum technician support required, and with a minimum of specialized equipment (without having to test every component using microcomputer tomography (Micro CT); (2) Quantify the effects of multiple defect types on the mechanical performance and material properties of printed parts. Defect types of interest are Small voids (particularly due to lack of fusion or vector spacing/path direction); Inclusions (powder contamination or powder size inconsistency leading to unfused material); Large voids (powder short-feeds, powder collapse, or other print errors); Chemical inconsistencies (powder contamination, carbide formation, grain structure); (3) Provide a database of permissible defect sizes, distributions, densities, or other allowable metrics for quality control (QC) pass/fail testing in multiple materials: 316SS, Commercially Pure (Grade 2) Titanium, IN625, IN718, and 17-4PH; (4) Provide an end-to-end system demonstration, including a NAVSEA-selected part printed in one of the above materials, to demonstrate successful application of the developed testing method and material database. Emphasis should be placed on a solution(s) that successfully achieve(s) the listed objectives, while minimizing cost/complexity (not relying solely on processes like microcomputer tomography (CT), etc.), especially those that do not require extensive mechanical test specimens to be printed alongside the final part, and those that do not require highly specialized testing for the final part. Advanced test methods are welcome, but attention should be paid to testing and calibration costs. Development of the material database is expected to include complex and highly specialized testing – the goal of the project should be to build a database so that those same tests are not required on every part after the database is developed. By providing a database to reduce cost and time to qualify an additively manufactured metal component, maintenance costs can be substantially reduced. Increased confidence and understanding of mechanical performance from parts produced by metal additive manufacturing, candidate parts can be more quickly selected. Improved quality control means that replacement parts and tools can reach the fleet sooner, increasing system availability, reducing maintenance and downtime costs, and improving mission and warfighter flexibility by 20%.
PHASE I: Develop a concept method to determine the effect of defects on printed mechanical test specimens in one material, and use the data collected by executing their planned experiments to develop the framework for the larger material database. Develop a program plan and structure to conduct print testing using their method on multiple materials in Phase II. The Phase I Option, if awarded, will include the initial design specifications and capabilities description to build a prototype in Phase II. Develop a Phase II plan.
PHASE II: Based on the Phase I results and the Phase II Statement of Work (SOW), design, develop, and deliver a prototype framework database. In Phase II, testing to collect the necessary data to develop the final mechanical database in multiple materials will be performed, and the database and set of design allowable for each material will be assembled. The project team will also develop a plan to demonstrate the complete system on a NAVSEA-provided part in Phase III.
PHASE III: Support the Navy in transitioning the technology to Navy use, especially in the regional maintenance centers and warfare centers. Phase III serves as a complete, end-to-end systems demonstration for the method developed in Phases I and II. Using a part(s) provided by NAVSEA, the team will print and qualify the part(s) using their process, and provide a report on the results of their testing. A reliable, fast, and low-cost empirical database for QC in additively manufactured metal components is applicable in multiple industries, especially the aerospace and automotive sectors, where qualification efforts to date have been primarily brute force efforts. By providing a database by which printed parts can be quickly confirmed as meeting some minimum set of operational criteria, significant cost reduction in metal AM is possible. Part cost reduction is always a goal of manufacturers, and would make the system developed under this SBIR/STTR attractive to private-sector organizations.
1: "NONDESTRUCTIVE TESTING ACCEPTANCE CRITERIA," MIL-STD-2035A (SH) 15 MAY 1995, http://everyspec.com/MIL-STD/MIL-STD-2000-2999/MIL-STD-2035A_6636/
2: Bauereiß, A., Scharowsky, T., & Körner, C. "Defect generation and propagation mechanism during additive manufacturing by selective beam melting." Journal of Materials Processing Technology, 2014, 214(11), 2522-2528. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0924013614001691
3: Gong, H., Rafi, K., Gu, H., Starr, T., & Stucker, B. "Analysis of defect generation in Ti–6Al–4V parts made using powder bed fusion additive manufacturing processes." Additive Manufacturing, 2014, 1, 87-98. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2214860414000074
KEYWORDS: Metal Additive Manufacturing; Quality Control For Additive Manufacturing; Effect Of Defects In Additive Manufacturing; Material Database; Material Performance In Additive Manufacturing; Part Qualification In Additive Manufacturing
Advanced Ship-handling Simulators
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Human Systems
OBJECTIVE: Develop open systems architecture software and algorithms that provide adaptive coaching features to enhance the performance of the Navy’s ship-handling training simulators.
DESCRIPTION: Despite its critical importance to the Navy, ship-handling training is becoming more challenging as Surface Warfare Officers (SWOs) are afforded less training time at sea and consequently experiencing fewer opportunities to control a ship at sea (Conning watch) while under the apprenticeship of a more experienced master mariner. This can lead to less confidence and diminished ship-handling competence among SWOs, which in turn increases the Navy’s risk for accidents when carrying out mission-critical tasks. The current technology addressing these concerns is the Navy Conning Officers Virtual Environment (COVE), and the associated Intelligent Tutor System (ITS), COVE-ITS. Together, these training systems provide opportunities for students to practice ship-handling tasks with spoken coaching and feedback from an instructor. However, in its current form, the COVE-ITS, as well as products from the commercial marine industry, are unable to autonomously judge the student’s actions, provide suggestions, or ask questions that enable active learning. Enhancements are needed with adaptive coaching capabilities to provide a real-time judgment with coaching/encouragement and enable post-evolution debriefing. This effort seeks to develop open systems architecture software and algorithms to enhance the current ITS for ship-handling simulators with adaptive coaching to provide a post evaluation capability that could potentially enable a reduction in instructors required for Ship-handling Training when using the COVE. An artificially intelligent mechanism can satisfy the training continuum provided it has the capability to recreate specific scenarios and events while doing so in a controlled and consistent manner. This technology would greatly reduce dependency of students on instructors for high-velocity learning on ship-handling systems. During current COVE scenarios, an instructor must be present with the student to train, mentor, and assess performance. The student feedback and assessment relies solely on the instructor’s visual observation of the student and the instructor must manually input those observations into the Conning Officer Ship-handling Assessment (COSA) system. COVE and COSA are not integrated. Advanced technologies have not been developed to automatically assess performance and provide feedback to the instructor and student. The current method of instruction relies on costly one-to-one instructor’s visual observation of each student for the entirety of the scenario. The use of this new tool will reduce instructor labor with significant impact on the lifecycle costs of teaching these courses. This capability would allow SWOs to have the simulator and instructor resources needed to meet ship-handling proficiency requirements, reduce the training bottleneck, and increase the speed to the fleet of competent, qualified SWOs. There are also cost-avoidance benefits with highly skilled and competent SWOs better maximizing warfighter effectiveness and safety at sea.
PHASE I: Identify and define functionality, and feasibility of a concept for a training module that can function seamlessly with COVE utilizing advanced ITS technology that would provide adaptive coaching and real-time judgment, and enable post-evolution debriefing utilizing technology within the virtual reality of the current simulator. Deliver a determination of the technical feasibility of the concept into the current Surface Warfare Officer School (SWOS), SWOS COVE, and COSA infrastructure. Phase I will include plans for a prototype to be developed during Phase II.
PHASE II: Based on the results of Phase I, develop and deliver a prototype system to be integrated with COVE and with COSA for evaluation at SWOS. The prototype will be evaluated in a relevant environment to determine its capability to meet the performance goals defined in the Phase II Statement of Work (SOW). Evaluation results will be used to refine the prototype into a mature design that will meet the requirements. The small business will provide all required software, instruction, and training material required to maintain and operate the system. The company will prepare a Phase III development plan to transition the technology for Navy validation and accreditation.
PHASE III: Develop the full module to be implemented into the COVE and COSA systems. Support the Navy and SWOS for test and validation to certify the system for use and ensure that it meets training objectives. If Phase III is successful, the company will support the Navy in transitioning the technology for schoolhouse use. The potential for commercial application and dual use would apply to advanced training systems for commercial industry. The marine, shipping, and cruise/tourism industries utilize ship-handling simulators similar to the technology in COVE, but also lack autonomous assessment capabilities. Reducing the need for instructors through improved system feedback is applicable to other Navy training environments.
1: Koenig, Alan, Lee, John, and Iseli, Markus. "CRESST Shiphandling Automated Assessment Engine: Mooring at a Pier." CRESST Report May 2016. http://cresst.org/wp-content/uploads/R852.pdf
2: Beidel, Eric. "Avatars Invade Military Training Systems." NDIA Business and Technology Magazine. February 2012. http://www.nationaldefensemagazine.org/articles/2012/1/31/2012february-avatars-invade-military-training-systems
KEYWORDS: Ship-handling Training; Autonomy In Training Systems; Surface Warfare Officers (SWOs) Training; Adaptive Coaching; Conning Officer Virtual Environment (COVE); Conning Officer Ship-handling Assessment (COSA)
Combatant Craft Health Monitoring System
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Sensors, Electronics, Battlespace
OBJECTIVE: Develop and implement a system that includes real-time recording, monitoring and data analytics, diagnostic, and prognostic capabilities for manned craft extensible to unmanned vessels.
DESCRIPTION: This topic seeks to develop an innovative solution for a craft data acquisition, processing, and display system capable of simultaneously receiving inputs in various data formats from relevant onboard sources as well as sensors from other applicable development projects for processing and/or storage on removable or uploadable media for future analysis. The Health Monitoring System (HMS) at a minimum must have recording, diagnostic, and prognostic system capability in order to identify maintenance/repair issues as well as provide post-mission forensic analysis and playback of maintenance and operational data in order to understand all aspects of the craft and human environment during the course of a mission. The HMS should provide a mechanism to assist in identifying root cause of minor, significant and catastrophic craft, systems, and component failures. Characterization of group-wide maintenance and repair issues will provide potentially significant savings by forecasting system degradation especially in critical operating environments that could have devastating results in loss of assets or personnel. The HMS should have diagnostic and prognostic capabilities in order to identify system issues and predict future failure modes. The HMS should have the ability to assist in identifying means to improve operations for reduced cost, identify areas for reduced maintenance intervals, target maintenance actions, predict imminent failures, and offer means for root cause analysis of failures while providing insight into total craft mission performance. Data analytics is a key component of the system and a primary area for innovation to adapt or field new algorithms and techniques to meet the objectives listed. The HMS should also provide a real-time display for guiding a craft operator towards reduced fuel consumption, optimized energy consumption, and cue attention to imminent system faults. Post-mission, the HMS should also assist a craft operator in rapidly understanding the environmental severity of a mission and cueing to any particular anomalies. Capabilities should include secure electronic transfer (Wi-Fi or Radio Frequency (RF) data link and interface cable) and physical transfer (removable storage media) of craft data to a dedicated shore station. The shore station post processing and “digital dashboard” is a critical feature that will provide the human interface for the desired situational awareness, required actions and trends to monitor. The shore station should allow an operator to view any part of a mission and key filtered data. The shore station should also allow an operator to display, recreate, playback, and/or print mission critical craft system parameters (engine, gearbox, fluid systems, power, etc.) and operating environment to include, at a minimum, craft motions and high shock events with a virtual craft mimicking motions encountered. Mission playback should include location on digital nautical charts and overlay Automatic Radar Plotting Aids (ARPA) and Automatic Identification System (AIS) contacts as well as provide a histogram laid format over a human and craft performance limit trend lines. The HMS should record all data with Global Positioning System (GPS) and time stamp information, as well as provide video Electro-Optical/ Infrared (EO/IR) data and communications recording and playback. GPS data capture should have the capability to be disabled. System shall have ability to turn off, physically disable GPS tracking without negatively effecting system performance, and shift graphical user interface to provide new user environment without blank screens or data fields. Shore station shall provide provisions to organize multiple craft data sets and transmit data over the internet to server for fleet-wide analysis and trending from a central location. System architecture should be flexible enough to add real time capability at a later date and underway data transfer link over satellite radio or Line of Sight radio to promote the extensibility to unmanned craft Command and Control (C2) system integration. The final HMS should be packaged in a relatively small footprint, meet marine standards, and be hardened in order to survive a catastrophic craft event. The HMS should also be capable of being easily mounted inside craft with military specification connections. The weight of the controller should not exceed 20 pounds. The power connection should accept between 10 and 28 volts DC. The HMS’s internal components should be suitable for the environment specifications and not include unique custom components unavailable without long lead times. Mechanical drives should not be used for the final design. The HMS should not require custom firmware or operating system. The software should have diagnostic features such as a system heartbeat that is remotely available or broadcasted. All software should be capable of successfully running on a standard Navy Marine Corp Internet (NMCI) laptop. The shore-side part of the HMS should be a commercially available laptop that does not require special components or software and be similar to a standard NMCI laptop in performance/capabilities. The typical environmental requirements for equipment on the craft are as follows: Moisture: 99% humidity, condensing. Temperature, Ambient: -40 to 154 degrees Fahrenheit. Shock: 10g vertical/100msec half sine pulse, 5g lateral/100msec half sine pulse. Vibration: Capable of surviving and remaining fully operable in accordance with MIL-STD-810G Method 514.6 in the presence of random vibration defined by the vertical power spectral density (PSD) curve of Figure 514.6C3, one hour in each required axes. Repeated Operational Wave Slam: Equipment shall be able to perform its normal functions during and following exposure to 1.5g, 100 msec half-sine pulses, 800 pulses at 1.0 second intervals. Corrosion Control: All fasteners shall be corrosion resistant steel, conforming to UNS S31600. Exterior surfaces and connectors shall be able to withstand testing in accordance with MIL-STD-810G Method 509.5 for salt fog environments. Electromagnetic Interference: International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC)
PHASE I: Develop a concept for a Combatant Craft Health Monitoring System. No hardware is expected to be designed or prototyped. The contractor at this point should be very specific in the design approach, data acquisition system design, shore station design, and software design. Define the proposed algorithms for a HMS. Craft shock processing algorithms for development of histogram will be provided by the Government. The Phase I Option, if awarded, will include the initial design specifications and capabilities description to build a prototype HMS in Phase II. Develop a Phase II plan.
PHASE II: Based on the results of Phase I and the Phase II Statement of Work (SOW), develop and deliver a full-scale prototype to the Navy for evaluation. The prototyped onboard and shore-side hardware with beta phase of software should be operational. The prototyped hardware should be a seaworthy, hardened system.
PHASE III: Support the Navy in transitioning the technology for Navy use. The fully hardened HMS for sea trials should be demonstrated successfully on a manned or unmanned vessel. The HMS should pass an underway test plan to be developed for the defined test platform. Marine, air, and land vehicle electronics industries will benefit from this HMS. This type of system can be applied to any vehicle to provide diagnostic and prognostic system capability in order to identify maintenance/repair issues, provide performance analysis and playback, and assist in identifying root cause of catastrophic or significant and minor vehicle, systems, and component failures.
1: Dekate, Deepali A. "Prognostics and Engine Health Management of Vehicle using Automotive Sensor Systems." International Journal of Science and Research (IJSR), Volume 2 Issue 2, February 2013, India Online ISSN: 2319-7064, 1PVPIT, Department of Electronics & Telecommunication, University of Pune, Maharashtra, India. https://www.ijsr.net/archive/v2i2/IJSRON2013443.pdf
2: Kilby, T. Scott, Rabeno, Eric, and Harvey, James. "Enabling Condition Based Maintenance with Health and Usage Monitoring Systems." AIAC14 Fourteenth Australian International Aerospace Congress Seventh DSTO International Conference on Health & Usage Monitoring. (HUMS 2011) Field Studies Branch, Logistics Analysis Division, USAMSAA. http://www.humsconference.com.au/Papers2011/Kilby_S_Enabling_Condition_Based_Maintenance.pdf
3: Kilchenstein, Greg. "SAE Aerospace Standards Summit Condition Based Maintenance." 08 July 2015. https://www.sae.org/standardsdev/summit/presentations/kilchenstein-condition_based.pdf
KEYWORDS: Data Acquisition; Health Monitoring System; Performance Monitoring; Onboard Diagnostics; Prognostics; Failure Mode And Effects Analysis
Analysis and Application of Treatments to Mitigate Exfoliation Corrosion (Delamination) of 5XXX Series Aluminum
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Ground Sea
OBJECTIVE: Research and develop chemical or non-chemical methods and processes to impart surface morphology modifications to aluminum-magnesium (Al-Mg) alloys to mitigate and increase the exfoliation corrosion resistance.
DESCRIPTION: 5000-series marine grade aluminum alloys are used in high-speed, high-performance ships and marine craft due to the many positive attributes (high strength-to-weight ratio, weld-ability, and marine corrosion resistance) of those alloys. Initial research in aluminum alloys for marine use indicated that certain alloys and tempers could be made resistant to exfoliation corrosion. Testing of these alloys and tempers was conducted for two years prior to acceptance of those alloys and tempers for widespread use in the U.S. Navy. Most of the Navy platforms, however, have service lives of 20-30 years and have subsequently exhibited exfoliation corrosion. Exfoliation is a special type of inter-granular corrosion that occurs on the elongated grain boundaries. The corrosion product that forms has a greater volume than the volume of the parent metal. The increased volume forces the layers apart, and causes the metal to exfoliate or delaminate. Innovative approaches for processes that protect against exfoliation are needed. Currently, when exfoliation corrosion occurs, the Navy must remove and replace the affected plate, resulting in costly and time-consuming maintenance actions. Prevention of exfoliation corrosion would produce lifecycle cost savings and increase the operational availability of ships and craft using 5000-series aluminum. The small business must research and develop applicable technologies that can mitigate and prevent exfoliation from occurring over the expected 25-year service life of a ship or craft. The proposed technology must improve the exfoliation resistance by 50% without reducing the strength in the material or inducing pitting or other deleterious changes to the material microstructure. The small business will identify the gaps between potentially applicable technologies and the future requirements and discuss the research and development (R&D) and innovation needed to fill the gaps thus justifying the need for the R&D or innovation. The proposed treatment must maintain paint adhesion and mechanical bonding durability of the Al-Mg alloy. The goal of this effort is to prevent exfoliation corrosion from occurring over the expected 25-year service life of a ship or craft. Technologies currently used to mitigate and improve the corrosion resistance of titanium, steel, stainless steel, and nickel-based alloys may be applicable. Various technologies currently being utilized by the aerospace, nuclear, and oil industries to address issues related to exfoliation, stress corrosion cracking, fretting, and wear have shown to be effective.
PHASE I: Research and develop applicable technologies that meet the overall objective of the proposal with a focus on development, testing, and analysis of the selected technology. The proposed research should include developing an understanding of the physical mechanisms to improve the exfoliation corrosion by altering the surface structure and morphology of the aluminum. Phase I should include technology development, required testing, technical rationale for the testing, analysis, project goals, milestones, and deliverables. Address any hazardous material and environmental issues. The Phase I Option, if awarded, will include the initial treatment specifications and capabilities description to prototype the proposed solution in Phase II. Develop a Phase II plan.
PHASE II: Based on the results of Phase I and the Phase II Statement of Work (SOW), treat sample coupons and conduct short-term testing of those coupons. Take measurements at each test point to determine if actual exfoliation or grain boundary formation occurs as predicted. Coupon testing must occur at an ISO 9001:2015 certified facility. The developed technology must be demonstrated on 5XXX aluminum. Samples must be treated, tested, and evaluated for exfoliation corrosion. Corrosion testing must be conducted at an ISO 9001:2015 certified facility. Evaluation of test samples must include on-site monitoring to determine if any corrosion occurs during testing. Test samples must also be inspected and evaluated to determine if the treatment adversely affects material and metallurgical properties. Test samples must be evaluated to assess the paint adhesion and mechanical bonding durability of the technology. The Phase II test results must be used to optimize the technology for a production environment. Develop a Phase III plan for technology transition to the Navy.
PHASE III: Support the Navy in transitioning the technology to Navy use. Identify all hardware, and develop all use documentation necessary to implement the technology at manufacturing facilities. The proposed technology is applicable to ship classes including the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), Ship to Shore Connector (SSC), and Ticonderoga-class (CG-47). Civilian applications in the marine and oil servicing industries are possible. The proposal surface technology has the potential for commercial applications in the aerospace, nuclear, and oil industries. Various surface treatment technologies have been developed and used to address issues with exfoliation, stress corrosion crack, fretting, and wear in titanium, steel stainless steel, and nickel-based alloys.
1: Brosi, J.K., et al. "Delamination of Sensitized Al-Mg Alloy During Fatigue Crack Growth in Room Temperature Air." Metallurgical and Materials Transactions A, Vol. 34A, November 2012, 3952-3956. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/235355015_Delamination_of_Sensitized_Al-Mg_Alloy_During_Fatigue_Crack_Growth_in_Room_Temperature_Air
2: Mohsen, S. et al. "Grain Orientation Effects on Delamination During Fatigue of a Sensitized Al-Mg Alloy." Philosophical Magazine Letters, Vol 95, Issue 11, Nov 2015, 526-533. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/14786435.2015.1110630?journalCode=tphl20
3: Liao, M. et al. "Effects of Ultrasonic Impact Treatment on Fatigue Behavior of Naturally Exfoliated Aluminum Alloys." International Journal of Fatigue, 30 (2008), 717-726. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0142112307001715
KEYWORDS: Exfoliation Corrosion Of Aluminum; Corrosion Resistant Surface Treatments; Preventing Exfoliation Corrosion; Corrosion Of Marine Grade Aluminum Alloys; Corrosion Failure Mechanisms For 5000-series Aluminum; Service Life Limiting Factors For 5000-series Aluminum
Temperature Sensing Submarine ISR Buoy / Surface Ship Sensor Tow Cable
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Sensors
OBJECTIVE: Leverage recent advances in the maturity, availability, and sensitivity of optical scanning technologies to embed a high fidelity, real-time temperature measurement capability into tow cables for legacy and for new towed sensors and arrays, and towed communication devices whose cables span the upper part of the water column.
DESCRIPTION: Currently, ships and submarines use predictive models in combination with continuous monitoring of seawater injection temperature (i.e., at a single depth) supplemented by intermittent bathythermograph measurements whose fidelity can be influenced by things like uncertain effects of currents spanning the water column. A high fidelity, real-time, in-situ measurement of temperature can be made across the part of the water column spanned by a cable already in the water. Compact electro-optical measurement capabilities exist that can be adapted to make the objective feasible. Unique challenges exist for various combinations of platform, operational speed, and sensor array and communication devices. In addition, for example, easily modified optical slip rings do not exist for all candidate applications. Each potential application and technology approach offers unique opportunities to incorporate engineering sensors with which to better account for hydrodynamic effects upon the shape of tow cable and therefore to better associate a temperature along the cable to a specific depth in the ocean. Work produced in Phase II may become classified. Note: The prospective contractor(s) must be U.S. owned and operated with no foreign influence as defined by DoD 5220.22-M, National Industrial Security Program Operating Manual, unless acceptable mitigating procedures can and have been implemented and approved by the Defense Security Service (DSS). The selected contractor and/or subcontractor must be able to acquire and maintain a secret level facility and Personnel Security Clearances, in order to perform on advanced phases of this project as set forth by DSS and NAVSEA in order to gain access to classified information pertaining to the national defense of the United States and its allies; this will be an inherent requirement. The selected company will be required to safeguard classified material IAW DoD 5220.22-M during the advanced phases of this contract.
PHASE I: Design a temperature measurement capability expected to be both compatible with legacy submarine and surface ship sensor and communications systems employing a tow cable, appropriate to, compatible with, and sized according to the specific system to which the technology may be integrated, that spans the application dependent portion of the water column from the ocean surface to the towed device, up from a submarine or down from a surface ship platform. Identify the suite of legacy candidate sensor and communication systems and the unique integration issues for each. Analyze and demonstrate that the required measurement fidelity can be achieved (<5° Celsius error along any 0.5-meter segment of the tow cable) with measurements that can be updated once each second. It is anticipated that in any Phase II OR Phase III application, a model will be developed to correlate a point to a length along the temperature sensing fiber to a specific ocean depth. Identify steps that will be taken in Phase II to meet the overall device specifications within a specific application context including what attributes should be included within any new context to improve either affordability, measurement fidelity, or reliability. The Phase I effort should include prototype plans to be developed during Phase II.
PHASE II: Based upon the Phase I design, deliver a prototype tow cable temperature measurement system suitable to some specific application context and demonstrate that it delivers the required measurement accuracy. It is expected that, if possible, the application context selected would be one for which there is a transition program sponsor prepared to invest in a Phase III effort. The threshold performance objective for a Phase II application should be +/- 0.5° Celsius accuracy when measured over a 1-meter span of depth. It should therefore be anticipated that classified information regarding the specific system application contexts will have to be revealed to the selected contractor/university team. It is probable that the work under this effort will be classified under Phase II (see Description section for details). The level of classification will depend specifically upon the classification guidance appropriate to the system to which the temperature measurement capability is integrated as part of a Phase II effort.
PHASE III: Ruggedize and mature the temperature measurement and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) buoy capability for a specific application context of interest to a Navy acquisition sponsor. Consider methods to further improve affordability, measurement fidelity, and/or reliability. In addition, develop an ISR and communications (COMMS) buoy system containing various payloads such as COMMS, Automatic Identification Systems, Electronic Surveillance Measures, and Early Warning receivers, that allow for pay out and retrieval of cable and buoy system. The core of the instrumented cable must contain the necessary fiber, in appropriate modes, to allow two-way communications. The technology also has transition potential to the commercial fishing industry as well as to oceanographic and meteorological research applications.
1: Hoffman, Lars, et al., "Applications of Fiber Optic Temperature Measurements," Proc. Estonian Acad. Sci. Eng., 2007, 13, 4, 363–378, http://www.iiit.kit.edu/publ/eng-2007-4-9.pdf
2: Liu, Deming, et al., "Temperature Performance of Raman Scattering in a Data Fiber and its Application in a Distributed Temperature Fiber-optic Sensor," Proc. Optical Sensing, Imaging and Manipulation for Biological and Biomedical Applications, Taipei, Taiwan, July 2000, https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12200-009-0023-y
KEYWORDS: Raman Scattering; Temperature; Fiber Optic; Sensing; Hydrodynamics; Acoustic Propagation
Protocol Feature Identification and Removal
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Info Systems
OBJECTIVE: The goal of this research effort is to produce algorithms that can identify features in a communications protocol and remove features identified by user selection. The focus of this thrust area is to develop a capability for modifying standard protocols for reducing and altering the attack surface, and to amplify anomalies.
DESCRIPTION: The Navy extensively leverages and adopts protocols and standards developed for commercial and public sectors. These standard, feature-rich protocols are often implemented as a one-size-fits-all library and are generally deployed as a whole. It is extremely rare that an application or even a set of applications within the computing system requires and invokes the entire feature set supported by a standard protocol. In most deployments, many features are not needed and are never invoked by the application(s). However, these extraneous, unnecessary features are invoke-able by an external party and represent an attack surface and risks that need not be incurred. As an illustration, most applications that use the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) protocol do not require the heartbeat feature. However, it is a standard feature in a popular one-size-fits-all SSL library. An implementation bug/flaw for heartbeat opens the door for the heartbleed attack. All computing systems that used the popular standard SSL library became susceptible to the heartbleed attack, whether or not their applications needed or invoked the heartbeat feature. Aside from vulnerabilities that were caused by implementation flaws such as heartbeat, which are repairable, vulnerabilities may also be a result of unintended/unanticipated use of a legitimate feature. This type of vulnerability is a result of a flaw in the protocol design itself and not the implementation. This type of vulnerability cannot easily be fixed without changes in the essence of the protocol itself. The Navy would like to acquire the capability for modifying standard protocols it deploys for reducing the attack surface and limiting the risk exposure to only that of the protocol features that are essential to its application(s). The Navy is soliciting Science and Technology (S&T) projects that lead to the development of protocol customization tools. The tools will take a list of required features for a particular protocol and either binary or source code of the standard protocol and transform or generate a specialized protocol that only supports the listed features and nothing more. Along with feature reductions, care needs to be taken to properly respond to an external party invoking the removed features. In subsetting, the Navy is only interested in supporting protocol features necessary for correct communication of our application(s) and nothing else. All other protocol features should be removed from the protocol code/library. The core functionality of the protocol remains intact, and the resulting protocol is still compatible with an external party communicating via the standard protocol. Currently, solutions for addressing threats against protocols involving Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS), Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS) and firewall approaches are not encouraged. The proposer may assume that the list of required features already exists. A user interface may also be built on top of the protocol customization tool to help an administrator configure and customize protocols, when the desired-feature-list is unavailable and automated feature list extractor is not practical. Proposer should not assume that the binary or source code of the standard protocol are annotated or tagged with feature identifying labels. Proposals that implement a wrapper will be deemed unacceptable. Proposer must modify the existing protocol and not create their own protocol baseline for editing.
PHASE I: Develop a concept and methodology to associate protocol features to its implementation/code within the protocol software and perform code transformation to remove undesired features and replace them with safe response. Provide a limited proof-of-concept application to demonstrate the viability of the approach for identifying and trimming protocol features. Develop a Phase II prototype plan.
PHASE II: Develop the prototype into a fully functioning software toolset for identifying and tagging protocol features, allowing end users to selectively remove unwanted features and their corresponding code. Demonstrate and evaluate the efficacy of the tools on protocols of varying complexity as selected by the performer, along with demonstration of the continued correct and functional operation of the remaining protocol features.
PHASE III: All third-party or commercial software used by the military contains extraneous protocol features that unnecessarily widen a system’s attack surface. Being able to remove those features without needing the cooperation of the developer would be a great advantage and drastically help improve the security posture of such systems. As a result, expected transition of these tools could extend to a wide range of government programs interested in improving the security and performance parameters of their software environments. Enterprise IT Management departments would also welcome the removal of unnecessary protocol features for both security and speed.
1: "HbbTV and Security." http://www.hbbtv.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/HbbTv-Security-2015.pdf
2: Fingas, Jon. "Exploit attacks your smart TV through over-the-air signals." Engadget, 1 April 2017. https://www.engadget.com/2017/04/01/smart-tv-broadcast-security-exploit/
KEYWORDS: Protocol Vulnerability; Software Feature Identification And Removal
Multi-Layer Mapping of Cyberspace
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Human Systems
OBJECTIVE: The objective of this topic is to develop innovative capabilities to map features and entities across all three layers of cyberspace (physical, logical, and cyber-persona) in order to detect and classify anomalous behavior.
DESCRIPTION: Cyberspace comprises three distinct but interrelated layers, each of which captures important characteristics of and behaviors on this domain. The physical layer consists of geographic features and physical network components. The logical layer is best described as data at rest, in motion, or in use within the physical layer. Finally, the cyber-persona layer comprises digital representations of entities that are interacting with each other and with the other two layers. Each layer’s features and entities have been mapped separately and with various degrees of effectiveness. Representations of the physical layer benefit from the maturity of Geospatial Information Systems (GIS) that have been used for decades in the other domains of warfare. The other two layers have piecemeal solutions that map networks, social interactions, and other limited data sets. Still, there exists no holistic mapping that encompasses all three layers of cyberspace and adequately captures intra- and inter-layer interactions. The DoD requires enhanced capabilities to simultaneously leverage information contained in all three layers of cyberspace in order to detect, classify and track a multitude of anomalous behaviors in near-real time. Such capabilities could provide early warning of malicious insider threats and even inform the most effective, proactive countermeasures. They could also illuminate complex and stealthy attacks by external actors. Alternatively, these capabilities could also help identify innovative benign behaviors such as non-conventional uses of cyberspace assets in order to enhance mission accomplishment. In short, the multi-layer mapping would highlight complex interactions and allow the user to visualize their effects, benign or otherwise. Such mapping would also enable much more sophisticated cyberspace operational planning and execution by taking into account not only geographic features, networked nodes, and data, but also the personas that operate on them. This topic seeks innovative approaches to aggregating very large sets of heterogeneous data, correlating them to detect causal relationships, and displaying both the data and its relationships in a manner that enables novel cyberspace operations. Of particular interest would be the capability to anticipate (and not simply document) evolving features and behaviors. Such predictive capability would allow friendly forces to outmaneuver adversaries in cyberspace. Viable proposals should be able to quantify the confidence of their cross-layer inferences and predictions, and also show autonomous self-improvement over time.
PHASE I: Assess the feasibility of combining information across all three layers of cyberspace in order to identify abnormal (i.e., outlier) behaviors. Here, abnormal behavior might be defined as the interaction of the three interrelated layers of cyberspace in an unorthodox or unpredictable fashion. For example, individuals may interact with either the data at rest of the physical data without a need to access. The expected deliverables of Phase I include multiple operationally meaningful scenarios within which the new system would deliver revolutionary new capabilities. For example, Phase I efforts might be geared toward model development and the assessment of cyber adversary behaviors as they relate to the multi-layer mapping of the cyber domain. Here, these models might be focused on specific visualization tools for tracking and collecting data in faster-than-real-time. Other efforts might be to develop models of detection and classification of anomalous behaviors. Develop a Phase II plan.
PHASE II: Develop and demonstrate a prototype system that leverages tri-layer mapping in an operationally meaningful context. This specific context will be chosen by the Government from among the scenarios developed in Phase I.
PHASE III: This resulting capability could be used in a broad range of military (and potentially commercial) applications. One such example might be a training and experimentation testbed for cyber defense. Similar use examples might be for verification and validation of existing cyber defense technologies. Phase III will focus on developing an operational capability, integrating the technology into DoD operations, and potentially transitioning to commercial production or for commercial application.
1: Joint Publication 3-12: Cyberspace Operations, JP 3-12(R), Joint Chiefs of Staff, United States Department of Defense, Washington D.C., 2013. http://www.dtic.mil/doctrine/new_pubs/jp3_12R.pdf
2: Lathrop, S. D., Trent, S., and Hoffman, R. "Applying Human Factors Research Towards Cyberspace Operations: A Practitioner’s Perspective." Advances in Human Factors in Cyber Security: Proceedings of the AHFE 2016 International Conference on Human Factors in Cyber Security, July 27-31, 2016, Walt Disney World®, Florida, USA, D. Nicholson, Ed. Cham: Springer International Publishing, 2016, pp. 281–293. https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-319-41932-9_23
3: Fanelli, R. and Conti, G. "A methodology for cyber operations targeting and control of collateral damage in the context of lawful armed conflict." 2012 4th International Conference on CyberConflict (CYCON 2012), 2012. https://ccdcoe.org/cycon/2012/proceedings/d1r3s2_fanelli.pdf
4: Conti, G., Nelson, P., and Raymond, D. "Towards a Cyber Common Operating Picture." 2013 5th International Conference on Cyber Conflict (CYCON 2013), 2013. https://ccdcoe.org/cycon/2013/proceedings/d1r2s4_conti.pdf
KEYWORDS: Cyberspace Layers; Multi-modal Data Fusion; Data Mining; Cyber Security; Network Security; Information Dominance
Autonomous Hull Grooming Vehicle
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Ground Sea, Materials, Sensors
OBJECTIVE: The goal is to develop a tethered, autonomous hull-crawling vehicle that supports and optimizes grooming operations on ship hulls while in port. The focus is on the development and integration of novel on-board sensors and methods to optimize coverage and navigation without the need of manned operations.
DESCRIPTION: Biofouling increases hull roughness and drag, negatively impacting vessel operations and fuel efficiency. The DoD propulsive fuel expenditures exceed $2B annually. Up to 15% of the fleet's propulsive fuel costs are wasted in overcoming the effects of drag from biofouling. Currently used biocide-based coatings become fouled in 1-2 years and require periodic underwater hull cleanings. Proactive hull grooming (removal of early stage biofouling on a weekly basis) keeps the hulls fouling free and ships at full operational capability. This effort will build upon existing grooming methods and hull attachment (brushes and/or non-magnetic attachment) to develop a highly autonomous vehicle through integration of a variety of sensors (e.g., depth/gravity-vector, odometry, sonars etc.) into an affordable platform that provides accurate navigation/coverage of the grooming process (the highest risk area of the grooming approach at present) and requires only minimal human operational oversight. Hull grooming is projected to significantly extend the intervals between diver-based hull cleanings and generate significant fuel savings in the interim to offset any additional acquisition and operating costs over current operations. Vessels of interest for autonomous grooming in the near term would be DDG-51 (Arleigh Burke Class Destroyer) and both variants of the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS). The wetted surface area of a DDG-51 is approximately 32,000 square feet. Large panel grooming tests on both copper ablative anti-fouling paints and biocide-free silicone-based foul release coatings indicate that grooming the hull once a week is generally sufficient to control the marine biofouling. The grooming frequency required to prevent the development of hard and most soft (biofilm) fouling was determined to subject the coatings to an acceptable level of impact with regard to wear and damage to the coatings from relatively soft rotary brushes of the grooming tool including the effect of any entrained solids removed from the hull during the process. Any areas that are missed during a grooming cycle increase the probability for biofouling to develop beyond early settlement; hence, there is a dependence on good navigation and positioning to ensure coverage and long-term efficacy. Concepts of operation have nominally converged on a two-foot wide grooming swath with 50 percent overlap and a path speed of 0.5 foot per second; as such a reasonable resolution for repeatable positioning to ensure proper grooming coverage is plus or minus six inches. As described above, the grooming path progress for operation would facilitate the grooming of 75 percent of a DDG-51 covering 24,000 square feet of underwater hull areas forward of the running gear in 16 to 17 hours. This in turn could be extrapolated to a single tethered autonomous grooming system being shared across two DDG-51 class vessels for a once a week grooming cycle. (See: Nominal Autonomous Grooming Vehicle System Requirements near the end of this section.) Grooming operations would likely entail multiple vehicles servicing multiple vessels in close proximity to each other in what is often a shallow noisy environment with very poor visibility. Beyond coverage for grooming efficacy, the autonomous tethered vehicle will need to avoid hazards presented by various hull structures (e.g., sea chests, bilge keels and other obstructions or areas to be avoided); the vehicle system in particular will have to rely on positioning to manage its tether to avoid entanglement. Any technical approach proposed for autonomous grooming needs to be viable on vessels of all material types; these presently being hulls of steel, aluminum, and various composites. Naval operations prohibit the use of magnetic attachment methods. Proposed vehicles should incorporate negative pressure impeller-based attachment and/or the use of attachment provided by the rotating brush forces. Development of new attachment approaches should not be a focus of this effort. Proposals should describe how the risks of using a tether in an autonomous system will be mitigated. It should be noted that a tether may present some entanglement risk; however, the tether itself presents an opportunity to remove or reduce several operational constraints with regard to power, endurance, and communications bandwidth to and from the surface. NOMINAL AUTONOMOUS GROOMING VEHICLE SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS: Mission Path Performance Guidelines: Vehicle On-Hull Path Velocity: ~ 0.5 ft./sec (30 ft./minute) Physical Tool Grooming Tool Width: ~ 2.0 ft. Average Grooming Overlap: 50 percent of Tool Width Average Effective Grooming Swath: ~1.0 ft. Average productivity rate for area groomed: ~30 square feet per minute Positioning Repeatability: +/- 6 inches along any axis in local plane of the hull Physical Constraints, Dimensions, and Weight: Vehicle Weight: approximately 150 lbs. Vehicle length: approximately 48 inches, inclusive with Grooming Tool Vehicle Width: approximately 30 inches Vehicle Height: approximately 24 inches. Tether Length: 100 meters Grooming System General Requirements: Grooming frequency is anticipated to be once a week without undo repetition along prescribed path areas to minimize impact on hull coating. Areas to be groomed autonomously will generally make up approximately 75 percent to 80 percent of wetted surface comprised of non-complex, underwater hull surfaces forward of the running gear. Data logging should at minimum allow for power monitoring and status for major facets of vehicle operations such as the grooming tool, locomotion including vehicle to hull attachment, and tether management. Data logging for navigation will be a tool for quality control to insure adequate coverage for efficacy without excessive impact on the hull coating.
PHASE I: (Phase I Base): The proposer will identify candidate sensors and instrumentation (or identify gaps in sensors needed to be developed and approaches thereof for Phase II efforts) for relative positioning and navigation as a prerequisite task for developing a tethered autonomous hull grooming system that has to operate in shallow noisy underwater conditions of low visibility—as little as several inches—such as Norfolk, VA where turbidity often constrains divers to operate by feel. With regard to acoustic interference, there are typically noise sources that range in frequency from few hundred hertz to in excess of 150 KHz; and these generally originate from shipboard machinery, propeller noise, and biologics such as snapping shrimp. The environment being shallow, reverberation and multipath issues present additional challenges for any acoustic-based schemes to be employed. Consideration must be given to the cost, complexity, and underwater durability of sensors in addition to the skills and time required for setup and initialization. Throughout system design and development, attention also should be given to minimize power requirements for all components as future efforts may examine the possibility of using on-board power. The objective of identifying a proposed sensor suite early in the effort will be to increase the overall understanding of the positioning related limitations for autonomous hull grooming. Generating initial figure of merit for best- and worst-case performance for any sensor suite scheme is critical prior to making any large investment in control software, vehicle hardware, and engineering design efforts in Phase II. Additional objectives for this phase are to describe how the proposed suite of sensors and instrumentation will be coordinated to provide the autonomous guidance and control of the vehicle that must avoid hazards and negotiate obstacles on the hull. This may include obtaining preliminary laboratory-based measurements of proposed sensors and instrumentation to provide data to determine reliability/accuracy and to identify sensor gaps. The primary deliverable will be a report fully describing the sensors and instrumentation for use in repeatable positioning on the non-complex areas of the hull, forward of the running gear. Additionally, the report should include a preliminary design and cost estimate for the proposed vehicle to be developed in Phase II. Eventual cost, complexity, and durability of the sensor/navigation suite is of primary consideration as these vehicles/systems will be widely used in a continuous concept of operations on ships while in port. (Phase I Option): Leveraging on the results of the Phase I Base tasking, would be to further define a detailed design and cost plan for vehicle development and sensor integration. Any concerns involving tether management should start being considered in the option phase along with developing plans for addressing sensor gaps that are not addressed by COTS items in Phase I.
PHASE II: (Phase II Base): Develop initial tasking for actual vehicle implementation around a qualified sensor and instrument suite that would encompass software and hardware development. The principal milestone under Phase II would be the demonstration of closed loop autonomous control for relative positioning from primary reference fixes established on the hull. Being a tethered test bed system, it will be acceptable for the control loop to be closed and monitored by a computer control station at the surface. Early Phase II work should determine the accuracy and coverage that can be obtained with simple on-board sensors and associated integration and software which can then be used to identify the extent and complexity of additional external positioning/referencing or feature-based navigation capabilities that are required to provide the desired capabilities for optimum grooming operations of the vehicle. The tasking will include demonstration test sequences at various locations on the hull that would subject the vehicle system to a full range of attitude and heading orientations along with avoidance of obstacles to fully exercise the sensor suite and control software. It is well expected that the hull surfaces being groomed will range from near vertical to horizontal with some oblique orientations in between—all typical of locations on the hull near the turn-of-the-bilge. If funding and time permit in Phase I, efforts on developing additional advanced navigation/location capabilities to complement on-board sensors can be initiated. Autonomous acquisition of hull features to establish primary reference fixes is highly desired for operational capability. However, an interim demonstration of autonomy with navigation and control by relative positioning can be performed after primary reference points on the hull have been acquired and established as “known good” fixes by the operator with the vehicle under manual control at various locations on hull. Autonomous control capability needs to be demonstrated through a full range of attitudes and vehicle headings. “Known good” is a navigation term generally denoting quality of a fix as absolute or usable with high confidence. Primary deliverable will be a sensor and instrument equipped tethered vehicle system capable of accommodating (but not yet integrated with) a grooming tool capable of providing the described hull coverage. The completed delivery will also contain reporting on the system design and testing with copies of the software required for autonomous vehicle system operation. Documentation and descriptions of the system software developed are likewise considered a deliverable. (PHASE II Option): The primary goal under Phase II Option tasking is to complete any advanced navigational capabilities and demonstrate a fully integrated autonomous vehicle capable of being deployed in a representative grooming mission. The tethered vehicle from Phase II Base will now be fully equipped with a grooming tool and sensor suite capable of operating autonomously under closed loop control. Beyond the tasking in Phase II Base above, it is additionally expected that the feasibility of completing sequential legs of grooming operations autonomously will be demonstrated with relative positioning alone. Further capability for full autonomy would be met by demonstrating autonomous acquisition of “known good” fixed reference points on the hull to support control and navigation by relative positioning to again facilitate completion of sequential legs for autonomous hull grooming operations. All features of tether management as integrated into the autonomous system will be demonstrated. Field testing under the Phase II Option again needs to operate through a wide range attitude and heading situations to validate autonomous operations of a tethered grooming vehicle system. A major goal is for operational requirements to be well understood in the following areas: -- system setup, deployment, and recovery -- level of autonomy achieved once on the hull -- ability to negotiate obstacles and hazards without manual control -- vehicle situation and mission progress monitoring -- manual efforts as required establishing primary reference fixes -- daily, weekly, and monthly maintenance The completed autonomous grooming vehicle system and final report are to be the major deliverables with the completion of the Phase II Option. Requirements for reports, test data, and system software with software documentation and software descriptions are the same as for the deliverables under the Base section of Phase II.
PHASE III: Following any success on the DDG or LCS class vessels, hull grooming with autonomous or semi-autonomous tethered vehicle systems to control marine biofouling would likely expand to other ship classes and types in the U.S. Navy. Similar opportunities for autonomous hull grooming are presented by the vessels of the Maritime Administration (MARAD), Military Sealift Command (MSC), U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), U.S. Army, and the University National Oceanographic Laboratory System (UNOLS). It is additionally anticipated that commercial shipping and cruise line operators would pursue a similar approach to control marine biofouling. Controlling marine biofouling on offshore structures for the oil and gas industry is another related opportunity. Transition to autonomous hull grooming in any case has to be economically competitive with present diver-based practices for periodic hull cleaning to control marine biofouling and present minimal impact to the hull coatings employed. Methods and technologies developed and advanced for navigation and control of an autonomous grooming vehicle are germane to hull survey and inspection applications with regard to reducing pilot work load for unmanned vehicle operations.
1: Hearin, John, Hunsucker, Kelli Z., Swain, Geoffrey, Gardner, Harrison, Stephens, Abraham and Lieberman, Kody. "Analysis of Mechanical Grooming at Various Frequencies on a Large Scale Test Panel Coated with a Fouling-Release Coating." Biofouling (The Journal of Bioadhesion and Biofilm Research), 07 April 2016, p. 561-569. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/08927014.2016.1167880?needAccess=true&. 2. Tribou, Melissa and Swain, Geoffrey. "The Effects of Grooming on a Copper Ablative Coating: a Six Year Study." Biofouling (The Journal of Bioadhesion and Biofilm Research), 12 June 2017, p. 494-504. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/08927014.2017.1328596
2: 3. Schultz, M.P. (Dept. of Naval Architecture and Ocean Engineering, United States Naval Academy) and Bendick, J.A., Holm, E.R., and Hertel, W.M. (Naval Sea Systems Command, Naval Surface Warfare Center Carderock). "Economic Impact of Biofouling on a Naval Surface Ship. Biofouling, Vol. 27, No. 1, January 2011, p. 87-98. 4. Johannsson, Hordur, Kaess, Michael, Englot, Brendan, Hover, Franz, and Leonard, John. "Imaging Sonar-Aided Navigation for Autonomous Underwater Harbor Surveillance." 2010 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), 18-22 October 2010. Digital Version published in IEEE Xplore 3 December 2010 (http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/5650831/).
KEYWORDS: Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV); Hull Grooming; Biofouling; Sensors; Underwater Navigation; Hull Husbandry
Active Imaging through Fog
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Info Systems, Sensors, Weapons
OBJECTIVE: Develop and demonstrate an active EO/IR imaging system that employs joint optimization of multiple laser illumination characteristics (e.g., pulse temporal structure, repetition rate, beam spatial profile, polarization, and quantum statistical composition, etc.) together with advanced processing techniques to enhance operational range in dense maritime fog by a factor at least 10 times greater than that of current active imaging systems.
DESCRIPTION: The U.S. Fleet Forces are often present in congested waterways throughout the world for a variety of humanitarian and military purposes. EO/IR imaging systems are often employed in such settings to maintain SA as well as for target recognition, tracking, and identification. However, EO/IR imagery is highly susceptible to degradation caused by scattering from ubiquitous, water-based aerosols. Imaging through dense fog is the quintessential hard problem, as strong scattering generates a large, uninformative background, while information-carrying ballistic photons are severely attenuated. The goal of active imaging is to augment target illumination intensity, while selectively detecting returned ballistic photons against extraneous background. In contrast to passive imaging, active imaging benefits from multiple degrees of freedom that can be controlled for the illumination source to enhance selective detection of the ballistic return, including laser pulse temporal profile, repetition rate, energy, wave front structure, spectral band, polarization characteristics, coherence, orbital angular momentum, photon-statistical properties, and degree of entanglement (quantum or classical). Conventional temporal gating techniques illuminate the target with a laser pulse and correlate opening of a narrow detection window with the arrival of the ballistic return signal, thereby reducing detection of extraneous background. Although the ballistic photons must also propagate through the obscuring atmosphere, the point spread function degradation (i.e., blur in the return signal) alone is often less severe than the impact of the extraneous background and can be mitigated through image processing techniques. Similarly, other active imaging methods impart some unique property to the illumination source to enable extraction of the returned ballistic signal by another variant of correlation. While the gain in range with conventional temporal gating is substantial, a larger overall improvement could potentially be obtained by combining multiple correlation techniques. In addition, advanced processing methods, such as convolutional neural network-(CNN) based deep learning, could be combined with conventional processing methods (e.g., dark channel priors or intensity histogram manipulation) to achieve improved range for target recognition, tracking, and ID in fog. This topic seeks to develop an active EO/IR imaging system with joint optimization of multiple illumination source characteristics and advanced image processing to improve operational range in dense maritime (convective) fog. Solutions can exploit all or any portion of the electromagnetic spectrum ranging from the ultraviolet (UV) to the far IR, but excluding mm-wave bands. System designs employing novel sensors or commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) sensors are both of interest, but the overall design concept should break new ground. While systems having low size, weight, and power are desirable, the overriding goal of this effort is to achieve a substantial performance improvement of at least 10 times greater in range for target recognition in dense maritime fog compared to existing systems.
PHASE I: Determine feasibility of an active EO/IR system with jointly optimized illumination, sensing, and processing to achieve at least an improvement 10 times greater operationally useful range where a target can be identified compared to existing active imaging systems in the presence of dense maritime fog . Identify key risk elements to achieve this (10X) improvement objective and perform suitable simulations and/or experiments to mitigate these risk factors. Prepare a publication-quality technical document detailing the system design and performance characteristics. Develop a Phase II plan.
PHASE II: Construct and demonstrate an active EO/IR imaging system based on the Phase I study. Conduct quantitative measurements and analysis to verify the purported 10X or greater improvement in operational range. The experimental validation can be performed in a laboratory environment that simulates the obscuring environment. Prepare a publication-quality document detailing the Phase II results.
PHASE III: Extend the technology to a full system prototype by optimizing the hardware and processing demonstrated in Phase II. Refine the design to minimize size, weight, and power (SWaP) consumption while introducing mechanical robustness against shock and vibration . Demonstrate the performance of the technology through extensive dockside and possibly shipboard testing. Provide support in transitioning the technology. Provide manuals and training materials. These capabilities will also be relevant to the autonomous vehicles market in the commercial sector. Most autonomous vehicles being developed rely on ladar to develop a 3D picture of surroundings. The technology developed under this program should be extended to modify active optical imaging systems so the operation can be extended in presence of fog.
1: Tao, QQ., Sun, YX., Shen, F., Xu, Q., Gao, J., and Guo, ZY. "Active imaging with the aids of polarization retrieve in turbid media system." Optics Communications 2016, Vol. 359, 405. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0030401815301899?via%3Dihub
2: van der Laan, J.D., Scrymgeour, D.A., Kemme, S.A., and Dereniak, E.L. "Detection range enhancement using circularly polarized light in scattering environments for infrared wavelengths." Applied Optics 2015, Vol. 54 (9), 2266-2074. https://www.osapublishing.org/ao/abstract.cfm?uri=ao-54-9-2266&origin=search
3: Riviere, N., Ceolato, R., and Hespel, L. "Active imaging systems to see through adverse conditions: Light-scattering based models and experimental validation." Journal of Quantitative Spectroscopy & Radiative Transfer 2014. Vol. 146, p. 431-443. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022407314002027
4: Hanafy, M.E., Roggemann, M.C., and Guney, D.O. "Detailed effects of scattering and absorption by haze and aerosols in the atmosphere on the average point spread function of an imaging system." J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 31(6), 1312–1319 (2014).
5: MIL-STD-810G. "Department of Defense Test Method Standard: Environmental Engineering Considerations and Laboratory Tests." 31 October 2008. http://everyspec.com/MIL-STD/MIL-STD-0800-0899/MIL-STD-810G_12306/
KEYWORDS: Active Imaging; LIDAR; LADAR; Fog; Electro-optical; Infrared; Polarization; Multi-spectral; Sensor Fusion; Autonomous; Real-time; Advanced Processing; Intelligence; Surveillance; Reconnaissance; Situational Awareness
Accurate Flow-Through Conductivity Sensor for Autonomous Systems
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Sensors, Electronics, Battlespace
OBJECTIVE: Leverage recent advances in nanotechnology and computational fluid dynamics as well as micro-fluidics, three-dimensional printing and specialized high-slip, fouling-resisting coatings to create major power, weight, and space savings for a conductivity sensor.
DESCRIPTION: Autonomous underwater vehicles and Lagrangian floats used by the Navy must carry conductivity, temperature and pressure for depth (CTD) sensors to support their missions in providing environmental data on the thermohaline structure of the ocean. The data support forecast systems and tactical tools. The present generation of flow-through sensors is bulky and power-intensive and prone to fouling by marine organisms, thus compromising performance. The commercial generation of flow-through (versus pumped) sensors have a known tendency to have stability issues and thus compromise accuracy, which limits the lifetime and persistence of the systems for the Navy’s intended use. Significant savings in cost for medium volume flow CTDs could be realized by injection molding, 3-D printing or other high-volume, rapid production techniques. Engineered polymers that reduce weight without compromising ruggedness could bring major benefits. Reducing the Size, Weight, and Power (SWaP) of commercially available devices while maintaining or increasing the stability and accuracy of the conductivity and pressure sensor will enable a power savings by a factor of five to seven times without reducing useful lifetime. The commercial market could benefit by partnership with universities to take advantage of computational fluid dynamics modeling, micro-fluidics, and specialty surface coatings to achieve this goal. This topic seeks a prototype conductivity, temperature, and pressure sensor that requires no pump system; and is low-power and stable for up to three to five years (the approximate lifetime of present profiling float systems). The major challenge is adequate stability and accuracy in the conductivity sensor. A target cost per unit is less than $1,000. Desired specifications are the following: For long-life devices that contribute data to the Argo program, the Argo standards should apply. The temperatures should be accurate to ±0.002°C and depth via pressure accurate to ±2.4dbar. Salinity derived from conductivity has been the challenge because the data are affected by sensor drift – where drift is small the uncorrected salinities have been accurate to ±0.01 psu. This STTR topic is directed at short-life systems that profile more rapidly; for these systems we believe the threshold for performance should be the following: Depth (Pressure) Parameter: Range 1000db; Accuracy ±0.1% full scale; Resolution 0.01% full scale; Stability 0.1% full scale/year Temperature Parameter: Range -5°C to 35°C; Accuracy ±0.02°C; Resolution 0.0005°C; Stability 0.01°C/year Conductivity Parameter: Range 0 to 85mS/cm; Accuracy ±0.03mS/cm; Resolution 0.01mS/cm; Stability 0.10mS/cm/year Ultimately, the objective of the new sensor would meet the Argo standards [References 2, 3].
PHASE I: Provide a trade-off study of the parameters and cost for an initial prototype design. Develop a Phase II plan to create a prototype.
PHASE II: Based upon the results of the Phase I design, develop and deliver a prototype sensor. Support extensive (up to six months) tank testing in a range of conditions with an initial at-sea test.
PHASE III: Ruggedize and mature the sensor for installation, integration, and at-sea testing, and implement cost reduction measures to provide a minimal-cost product for Navy acquisition. Consider methods to reduce the power of the device. This technology could be used by small profiling floats, gliders, Unmanned Surface Vehicles (USVs), and Unmanned Underwater Vehicles (UUVs).
1: Janzen, C. "Improving CTD Data from Gliders by Optimizing Sample Rate and Flow Past Sensors." Ocean News and Technology 2011 (17(7): 22-23). http://www.seabird.com/document/improving-ctd-data-from-gliders
2: Oka, E. and Ando, K. "Stability of Temperature and Conductivity Sensors of Argo Profiling Floats." Journal of Ocean Engineering 2004. Vol. 60, pp. 253-258. DOI 10-23/B:JOCE.0000038331.10108.79. https://www.terrapub.co.jp/journals/JO/pdf/6002/60020253.pdf
3: Barker, P. M., Dunn, J. R., Domingues, C. M., and Wijffels, S. E. "Pressure Sensor Drifts in Argo and Their Impacts." Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology 2011, Vol. 28, pp. 1036-1049. http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/2011JTECHO831.1
4: Abraham, J. P., Baringer, M., Bindoff, N. L., Boyer, T., Cheng, L. J., Church, J. A., Conroy, J. L., Domingues, C. M., Fasullo, J. T., Gilson, J., Goni, G., Good, S. A., Gorman, J. M., Gouretski, V., Ishii, M., Johnson, G. C., Kizu, S. Lyman, J. M., Macdonald, A. M., Minkowycz, W. J., Moffitt, S. E., Palmer, M. D., Piola, A. R., Reseghetti, F., Schuckmann, K., Trenberth, K. E., Velicogna, I., and Willis, J. K. "A review of global ocean temperature observations: Implications for ocean heat content estimates and climate change." Reviews of Geophysics 2013, Vol. 51(3), pp. 450-483. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/rog.20022/abstract
KEYWORDS: Conductivity Sensor; Accuracy; Flow-through; Low Power
Operational Sand and Particulate Sensor System for Aircraft Gas Turbine Engines
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Sensors, Electronics,
OBJECTIVE: Develop an improved engine-mounted sensor system for detection, classification, and characterization of inlet particles to gas turbine engines. The sensor and associated processing equipment should be compatible with aircraft size, weight, and power (SWaP).
DESCRIPTION: Coarse sand to fine dusts, aerosol particulates, organic dirt, aerosol and water-spray salts at low altitudes, uniquely volcanic ash generally at high altitudes, and any similar natural minerology from global Naval littoral spaces are currently ingested into Naval propulsion and power gas turbines in large but unknown and variable amounts. Significant internal accumulations are at times seen in repair processing, occluding both hot-primary and cooler-secondary flowpaths. A Naval gas turbine may process up to one million pounds of air during each two-hour sortie with instantaneously varying contaminant levels. As engines are operated to higher gas and component surface temperatures, rapid accumulation of the combined dusts and salt may generate molten fusions in turbine hot sections, especially when low melting temperatures mixtures are ingested. General examples of low melting temperature mixtures have been coined “Calcia-Magnesia-Alumina-Silicate (CMAS)”. However, the inlet ingested natural minerals and salts are not so simply defined. Verified risks to flight operations due to ingested mixture chemistries and kinetics of adhesion and sintering are forming thick deposits of “CMAS”. These and other large airborne particles can also erode compressors and seals, and different unique mixture chemistries will clog turbine cooling holes with and without sintering thermal reactions. Further, corrosion from salt and volcanic ash sulfates is another problem. If melted-, or salt-fluxed sintered-, dusts accumulate on turbine vanes and blades, it leads to primary-flow blockage and notable rapid power loss events. Protective coatings throughout the engine can become damaged extensively and rapidly from erosion and chemical reactions. It is desired to create a flight-weight, low-volume, engine-integrated sensor system that can measure instantaneously and trending over full-engine life, the total mass, inlet loading rate, particle size distribution, compositional melting point, and salt-fractions. It will contribute engine in-flight risk assessment to damaging events from volcanic ash and low melting temperature mixtures. The sensor will be capable of reporting historical exposure rates and ingestion totals in all air-breathing operating environments and altitudes.
PHASE I: Conduct interviews with industry and Naval experts in engine diagnostics and safety of flight in dust or volcanic-ash laden environments. Determine the specific detailed design options and an initial set of requirements for an operational aero-engine contaminant sensing system. Select and evaluate the feasibility of one or more key sensing functions of the concept design. Develop a product concept design showing how it is to be integrated on a current and/or future fleet aircraft, including locations on engines and diagnostic system interfaces. Determine and justify needed measurement uncertainty requirements for the various measurement characteristic options. Identify steps that will be taken in Phase II to meet the overall device specifications within a specific application context including what attributes should be included within any new context to improve either affordability, measurement fidelity, or reliability.
PHASE II: Based upon the Phase I design, deliver a prototype of the operational sand and particulate sensor system for aircraft gas turbine engines. In a contaminated flow rig or on a contaminated small turbine engine, demonstrate that it delivers the required measurement characteristics, accuracies, and uncertainties.
PHASE III: Dual-use application is possible to commercial aircraft operating in volcanic regions and also austere events regions. Ruggedize and mature the sand and particulate sensor system for a specific application context of interest to a Navy acquisition sponsor. Consider methods to further improve affordability, measurement fidelity, and/or reliability.
1: National Research Council. "A Review of United States Air Force and Department of Defense Aerospace Propulsion Needs". Consensus Study Report, 2006. https://www.nap.edu/catalog/11780/a-review-of-united-states-air-force-and-department-of-defense-aerospace-propulsion-needs
2: Lekki, J., Guffanti, M., Fisher, J., Erlund, B., Clarkson, R., and van de Wall, A. "Multi-Partner Experiment to Test Volcanic-Ash Ingestion by a Jet Engine". February, 2013. http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/20130013612.pdf
3: MIL-STD-810G (w/ Change-1), "Department Of Defense Test Method Standard: Environmental Engineering Considerations And Laboratory Tests". April 15, 2014. http://everyspec.com/MIL-STD/MIL-STD-0800-0899/MIL-STD-810G_CHG-1_50560/
4: Powder Technology, Inc. "Air Force Research Lab, 03 Test Dust". http://www.powdertechnologyinc.com/product/afrl-03-test-dust/
5: Phelps, A. and Pfedderer, L. "Development of a naturalistic test media for dust ingestion CMAS testing of gas turbine engine". ECI Symposium Series in "Thermal Barrier Coatings IV", 2015. http://dc.engconfintl.org/thermal_barrier_iv/29
6: Czugala, M., Maher, D., et al. "CMAS: fully integrated portable centrifugal microfluidic analysis system for on-site colorimetric analysis". RSC Advances. July 2013. http://doras.dcu.ie/18844/1/CMAS_fully_integrated_portable_Centrifugal.pdf
7: "Process Particle Counter (PPC) Sensor/Controller For Optimizing Power Recovery Expander And Gas Turbine Performance". PPC Application Note, 08/06/04. http://www.processmetrix.com/research_and_development/downloads/PPC_Refinery_application.pdf
8: "The Forward Scattering Spectrometer Probe (FSSP)." Centre for Atmospheric Science, Manchester, UK. http://www.cas.manchester.ac.uk/restools/instruments/cloud/fssp
9: United States Patent 9714967 B1. "Electrostatic dust and debris sensor for an engine". July 25, 2017. https://www.google.com/patents/US9714967
10: United States Patent 20120068862 A1. "Systems and Methods for Early Detection of Aircraft Approach to Volcanic Plume". March 22, 2010. https://www.google.com/patents/US20120068862
11: United States Patent 7,535,565. "System and Method for Detecting and Analyzing Compositions". May 19, 2009. https://patentimages.storage.googleapis.com/pdfs/US7535565.pdf
12: Haldeman, C. "Small Engine and Gradient Rig Integration for CMAS and Other Environmental Pollutant Evaluation". ‘Environmental Effects’ session May 24th, Propulsion Safety & Sustainment Conference PS&S 2017
13: Haldeman, C. "Turbine Infrared Thermal Measurement System Development-Turbine Rig Deployment to Support Product Life Cost Reduction". ‘Environmental Effects’ session May 25th, Propulsion Safety & Sustainment Conference PS&S 2017
14: Murugan, M., Ghoshal, A., Walock, M., Nieto, A., Bravo, L., Barnett, B., Pepi, M., Swab, J., Pegg, R. T., Rowe, C., Zhu, D., and Kerner, K. "Microstructure Based Material-Sand Particulate Interactions and Assessment of Coating for High Temperature Turbine Blades". Help understanding ‘CMAS" turbine damage: GT2017-64051. https://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/20170008019.pdf
15: Krisak, M. B. "Environmental Degradation of Nickel-Based Superalloys Due to Gypsiferous Desert Dusts". United States Air Force Institute of Technology, AFIT-ENY-DS-15-S-066. http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a621803.pdf
16: 16. University of Dayton Research Institute. "Particle Erosion Test Facility (Sand and Dust)". https://www.udri.udayton.edu/NonstructuralMaterials/Coatings/Pages/ParticleErosionTestFacility.aspx
KEYWORDS: Gas Turbine; Sand-dust Sensor; Particulate Sensor; Aerosol Salt; Airborne Contaminants
Hybrid Ceramic Matrix Composite/Polymer Matrix Composite (CMC-PMC) Skin Materials
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Materials
OBJECTIVE: Develop a hybrid multifunctional composite material that is an improvement upon the thermal and chemical stability, and surface durability of traditional carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) composites.
DESCRIPTION: Carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) composites (also known as polymer matrix composites (PMC)) are a type of strong and lightweight composite material that is commonly used in the aerospace, automotive, and civil engineering fields. For example, the Boeing 787 aircraft fuselage, wing, and other key airframe components are made from CFRP composite material. However, these materials have two inherent drawbacks that limit the breadth of usefulness in naval applications: (1) The operating temperature is not high enough in terms of the thermal durability of the material in structural applications. For example, the most common matrix materials for CFRP composites are epoxy and bismaleimides (BMI), whose glass transition temperatures are about 75°C and 260°C, respectively. Such polymer matrices do not perform as desired in higher temperatures due to thermal softening and other degradation effects. Cracks and fracture phenomenon may develop as well after long duration exposures to higher temperatures or exhaust impingement. (2) Chemical stability is not sufficient for long lifespans. Especially for aerospace applications, the lifespan for CFRP material is limited under UV light radiation and harsh weather conditions (e.g., the salty and high moisture atmosphere in Naval operations). These weaknesses constrain CFRP composite applications to certain limited working environments. Additional research is needed in order to refine the CFRP material properties to be better suited for harsher situations. Properties such as increased thermal conductivity for flame resistance, low water absorption, and electromagnetic interference (EMI) shielding capability make CFRP components more attractive for use in Naval aircraft and ship components if the aforementioned limitations can be overcome. Under such circumstances, a hybrid multifunctional composite material is desired that improves the thermal, chemical and/or surface durability, of traditional polymer composites. Minimizing the associated manufacturing procedure and cost is also desired.
PHASE I: Define and determine the feasibility of a multifunctional composite material system and an associated manufacturing process. Target the durability properties of interest (e.g., thermal, EMI, etc.). Develop a Phase II plan.
PHASE II: Develop and demonstrate a prototype of concept with a coupon-sized sample for mechanical, thermal, and chemical testing. Demonstrate the prototype’s material property maintained under simulated aforementioned environmental conditions (temperature, humidity, pH).
PHASE III: A material state awareness system of this nature could be installed in many DoD or commercial platforms such as UAV’s and commercial airframes. The contractor will need to identify a skin/component target to integrate the material solution; and demonstrate that the material system is fully functional and capable of surviving the ship or aircraft operational environment and determine the system’s compatibility with legacy and future applications.
1: Soutis, C. "Carbon fiber reinforced plastics in aircraft applications." Mater. Sci. Eng., A, 412:171 (2005).
2: Hollaway, L.C. "The evolution of and the way forward for advanced polymer composites in the civil infrastructure." Construct. Build. Mater., 17:365 (2003).
3: Parry, Daniel (POC). "Navy Develops High Impact, High Integrity Polymer for Air, Sea, and Domestic Applications" Naval Research Laboratory News Releases 2013. http://www.nrl.navy.mil/media/news-releases/2013/navy-develops-high-impact-high-integrity-polymer-for-air-sea-and-domestic-applications
4: Parry, Daniel (POC). "NRL Licenses New Polymer Resin for Commercial Applications." Naval Research Laboratory News Releases 2015. http://www.nrl.navy.mil/media/news-releases/2015/nrl-licenses-new-polymer-resin-for-commercial-applications
KEYWORDS: Polymers; Ceramics; PMC; CMC; Skin; Materials
Jellyfish-Inspired Profiling Floats
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Sensors, Battlespace
OBJECTIVE: Develop and demonstrate a jellyfish-inspired autonomous ocean observation float that makes oceanographic and water quality measurements, stores and transmits the resulting data, can relay data from Unmanned Underwater Vehicles (UUVs), and is low-power, with power provided by energy scavenging and sustainable energy sources.
DESCRIPTION: Current subsurface oceanographic sensing is provided by expensive UUVs and gliders capable of sampling large areas or by tethered floats or buoys that are for sampling a restricted area. The typically passive, distributed, battery-operated wireless sensor nodes are not desirable as they have limited station-keeping capability and fixed lifetimes. The goal of this research is to develop an autonomous, jellyfish-inspired vehicle that is capable of conducting autonomous station-keeping in dynamic environments to act as an oceanographic sensor node for 2-12 months These nodes should be inexpensive so that many of them can be deployed in a region of interest. The strategy adopted to accomplish this goal is to implement methods of underwater propulsion found in biological species. Nature comprises a variety of animal designs that show promise for surveillance in underwater environments. They can be mobile, small with various sensory functions, and networked as nodes with other units as well as possess adaptability, maneuverability, and intelligence. Out of the broad range of choices, jellyfish were selected due to attributes such as their ability to consume little energy owing to a lower metabolic rate than other marine species, survivability in varying water conditions and possession of adequate morphology for carrying payload. Jellyfish inhabit every major oceanic area of the world and are capable of withstanding a wide range of temperatures and salinities. Most species are found in shallow coastal waters, but some have been found at depths of 7000 meters (m). Furthermore, jellyfish are found in a wide variety of sizes ranging from a few millimeters to over 2 m in diameter  as well as displaying a multitude of shapes and colors. This morphological variability opens options and capabilities for large mass payloads, energy harvesting from solar using a large deployed surface area in the bell, and energy scavenging from the tentacles. They have the ability to move vertically, correct their heading and position using fluid manipulation to impart turning moments, and utilize ocean currents for horizontal movement. In addition, the progress achieved in developing microbial fuel cells and understanding of suspension feeding mechanism provides opportunity to develop a sustainable power source for the UUV. Recently, several laboratories have constructed artificial jellyfish that are propelled by artificial muscles or shape memory actuators, showing the feasibility of this type of mobility. These artificial jellyfish demonstrated controlled ascent and descent in a laboratory setting. This combination of simple control and body plans, efficient and effective position control in active environments, and large scales to support large sensor and communication payloads with the required power systems make a jellyfish-inspired robot viable for low cost, high reliability with integrated fault correction, and long-term endurance ocean sensing and communication relay applications.
PHASE I: Conduct a study on the feasibility of a jellyfish-inspired vehicle design, with a focus on mobility mechanism and power source. This should draw on prior biological research on jellyfish kinematics, dynamics, and fluid interactions to support design of a vehicle with station-keeping in a current of 1-2 cm/sec, and localized maneuver in the water column. Identify the most promising actuation mechanism, including power requirements and expected lifetime. Conduct a design study of the feasibility of different sustainable power sources (e.g., solar, mechanical energy scavenging, microbial fuel cells) and specify the expected mission duration. Identify materials with surfaces that resist fouling. Develop a Phase II plan.
PHASE II: Fully develop and fabricate a jellyfish-inspired vehicle that has the payload and structural capability to carry oceanographic sensors (e.g., water temperature, salinity, ambient noise and turbidity, GPS), sensors to measure the wave field (directional wave spectra, peak period and direction) and communication electronics and power systems. Design a means of projecting an antenna capable of supporting Iridium communications. The ability to relay underwater acoustic communication from another underwater system and transmit data via radio frequency (RF) should be considered. The power systems identified in Phase I should be able to support equipment payloads, as well as minimal power expenditure for station-keeping and maneuvering. The vehicle will be able to maintain a position within a 2-meter radius, including maneuvering to correct drift and environmental external impacts. Demonstrate controlled vertical descent to 50 feet. Demonstrate the vehicle and a suite of relevant oceanographic sensors in an ocean environment.
PHASE III: Implementation control and maneuverability optimization, finalize integrated power systems for efficient motion and increased mission duration, implement energy harvesting such as solar recharging to indefinitely increase power and duration capabilities, and improve design reliability and durability for live aquatic environments. The improved platform will be tested in simulated and limited live environments to prove final product viability and final changes for optimal performance. Design a plan of employment for multiple jellyfish vehicles including deployment procedure and strategy for coverage in the face of drift. Demonstrate the vehicle in a complete mission scenario for ocean sensing within an IPOE (Intelligence Preparation of the Operational Environment). Commercial applications include scientific oceanography, monitoring of remediation and ecosystem health, fisheries management, and harbor water monitoring.
1: Gemmell, BJ, Troolin, DR, Costello, JH, Colin, SP, and Satterlie RA. "Control of vortex rings for maneuverability." J. R. Soc. Interface 2015 12: 20150389. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4528605/
2: Villanueva, A., Smith, C., and Priya, S. "A biomimetic robotic jellyfish (Robojelly) actuated by shape memory alloy composite actuators." Bioinspiration & Biomimetics 6(3), 2011, 036004. http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-3182/6/3/036004/meta
3: Omori, M and Kitamura, M. "Taxonomic review of three Japanese species of edible jellyfish (Scyphozoa: Rhizostomeae)." Plankton Biology and Ecology 51:36-51. http://www.plankton.jp/PBE/issue/vol51_1/vol51_1_036.pdf
4: Priya, S. and Inman, D.J. "Energy Harvesting Technologies." Springer-Verlag. http://www.springer.com/us/book/9780387764634
5: Tadesse, Y. "Electroactive polymer and shape memory alloy actuators in biomimetics and humanoids." Proc. SPIE 8687, Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) 2013, 868709. http://proceedings.spiedigitallibrary.org/proceeding.aspx?articleid=1677453
6: Tadesse, Y., Villanueva, A., Haines, C, Novitski, D, Baughman, R., and Priya, S. "Hydrogen-fuel-powered bell segments of biomimetic jellyfish." Smart Materials and Structures, 21(4), 045013. http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/0964-1726/21/4/045013/meta
7: Larkin, M. and Tadesse, Y. "HM-EH-RT: Hybrid multimodal energy harvesting from rotational and translational motions." International Journal of Smart and Nano Materials. 4(4), 257-285. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/19475411.2014.902870
KEYWORDS: Unmanned Underwater Vehicle; Bio-inspired; Low Energy; Energy Harvesting; Oceanographic Sensing; Profiling Floats
Enhanced Lower Cost Tooling for Friction Stir Technologies
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Ground Sea, Materials
OBJECTIVE: This project will develop new material processing routes and technologies toward high-toughness, super-hard cubic boron nitride-based materials for use in friction stir welding (FSW) tool applications.
DESCRIPTION: FSW is a solid-state joining process that uses a third body tool to join two mating surfaces. Heat is generated between the tool and material, which softens material to allow material mixing. Currently, it is primarily used on aluminum structures that need superior weld strength without a post-weld heat treatment. The Navy and Marine Corps have interest in developing tools for use in the joining and repair of high hardness steel and other hard materials that involve higher temperatures and fracture toughness than aluminum FSW; this will require the development of new, low-cost tool materials with longer lifetimes. The proposed research will advance the current state-of-the-art of FSW tool materials. The key aspects of the study will be: A) material selection utilizing theory/computational modeling to evaluate tool material compatibility; B) fabrication of material coupons; C) mechanical evaluation of test coupons; and D) fabrication and evaluation of friction stir welding tools. The project will develop new bulk material or novel processing techniques for material fabrication. This research has the potential to improve the efficiency of current FSW tool technology by developing lower cost processing techniques or identifying new compositions that lead to less expensive, longer lasting tools. Current tool materials for FSW processing of steel are based primarily on cubic boron nitride (cBN). These materials are difficult to process to full density due to the highly covalent nature of the bonding and the sensitivity of the reversible phase transformation at higher processing temperatures. Metallic bond phases have been utilized to make dense multiphase “cermet “compositions that provide a tough, bond matrix phase (metal) with super-hard cBN particulate. Previous studies have shown that smaller amounts of the bonding phase result in tool materials that have high hardness, but suffer from poor thermal stress response. They demonstrate poor thermal cycling response, and typically fail in the initial plunge or during the extraction of the tool in the friction stir process. Transient thermal loads drive the through-thickness stresses causing the tool to fail from poor strain response. The addition of a more ductile bond phase alleviates this failure mode, but drives a more rapid wear response of the tool, again leading to shortened tool lifetimes. Expensive refractory metals are currently used to provide tools with longer life, but that expense limits the commercial viability of FSW for more widespread industrial use.
PHASE I: Define and develop a concept/approach using computational tools for a new/optimized tool material composition, or novel processing technique to produce bulk materials of current compositions. It is intended that the focus of the program be to target materials by understanding the thermochemistry of tool material in its use environment. This includes investigating if the bond phase reacts with harder phases that may negatively impact tool performance at the use temperature of 1,000°C and exploring if the tool material reacts with the steel at those temperatures to negatively impact the as-fabricated weld properties. Computationally guided materials selection to define the composition space will be of high importance. The mechanical and thermal properties (modulus, fracture toughness, strength, coefficient of thermal expansion, and thermal conductivity) properties of the candidate tool materials (at room temperature (RT) and use temperature) can cover a wide range and there are tradeoffs for these tool properties. However, as the Navy and Marine Corps desire improved tool life at lower cost, some properties of commercially available tool materials are listed as a reference. To ensure progress in the Phase I plan, a key deliverable will be a sample material coupon (0.25” diagonal x 0.5” high) for independent Government testing and report of achieved material properties, with requisite documentation showing the rationale for selection (computational thermodynamics) and the description of the processing technology used to process the material. Develop a Phase II plan.
PHASE II: Based on Phase I results, develop, demonstrate, and validate the proposed computational approach for new/optimized materials and/or processes. This will include demonstrating optimized material composition(s) in large test builds in order to measure mechanical and thermal properties (at RT and elevated temperatures), and to characterize the microstructure and composition (grain size, porosity, phase identification/quantification). Begin initial FSW studies in order to determine viability of the material for compatibility with the thermal and mechanical loads placed on the tool during use, as well as potential chemical interaction with the steel weldment. It is recommended that the performer initiate work with experts in commercial FSW processing, as well as joining/repair OEMs to facilitate transition into Phase III. Phase II will necessitate scale up of the process in order to produce larger size billets/blanks for thermal and mechanical property characterization as well as for extraction of sample tool shapes for initial FSW studies. A Phase II option would involve supplying a government laboratory or FSW partner with the small tool shapes for plunge and extraction tests on steel (minimum 1” diagonal x 1” high).
PHASE III: Phase III will produce full-size FSW tools made from materials and processes developed under the program performing at equivalent speeds, feed rates, and test boundary conditions set forth during the program by the Navy (equivalent to or better than state-of-the-art tool materials performance) to industry partners or Navy Warfare Centers/DoD production/maintenance facilities. Phase III will also plan to transition optimized materials compositions and/or processes to commercial suppliers through partnering agreement with OEMs, repair depots, etc. FSW can be used in manufacturing and repairs of very hard materials in commercial industries as well.
1: Rai, R., De, A., Bhadeshia, H. K. D. H., and DebRoy, T. "Review: friction stir welding tools." Science and Technology of Welding and Joining. 16, 325-342. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1179/1362171811Y.0000000023
2: Dialami, N., Chiumenti, M., Cervera, M., and Agelet de Saracibar, C. "Challenges in Thermo-mechanical Analysis of Friction Stir Welding Processes." Archives of Computational Methods in Engineering: State of the Art Reviews. 2017. 24, 189-225. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11831-015-9163-y
3: Hanke, S., Lemos, G., Bergmann, L., Martinazzi, D., Dos Santos, J., and Strohaecker, T. "Degradation mechanisms of pcBN tool material during Friction Stir Welding of Ni-base alloy 625. Wear, 2017. 376-377, 403-408. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0043164817301898
4: Sorensen, CD. "Progress in Friction Stir Welding High Temperature Materials." Brigham Young University. http://fsrl.byu.edu/presentations/Progress%20in%20Friction%20Stir%20Welding.pdf
KEYWORDS: Friction Stir Welding; FSW
Naval Internet of Things (IoT) Effectiveness and Efficiency
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Info Systems, Sensors
OBJECTIVE: Objective is to develop and test Internet of Things (IoT) concepts in relevant environments. The performer will prototype an agent-based framework populated by smart objects and Artificial Intelligence (AI)-controlled force units; and demonstrate its effectiveness and efficiency.
DESCRIPTION: The goal of the topic is to prototype an agent-based framework populated by agent-controlled units and smart objects including sensors and logistics assets. As part of development, the performer will evaluate an implementation of the above with a military simulation (e.g., JSAF, VBS3, etc.) of their choice. Progress will be tracked by computing the ratio of a set of measures of performance (simulation outcomes) divided by the number of bits sent in-between and between objects (sensors, weapons, and logistics support assets) and units (individual warfighters and/or platforms to three at-sea platforms or three land-based companies). The offeror should utilize multiple scenarios to prove the utility of their Phase I research. All messages count, including object/unit discovery. Assumptions made concerning the abilities of smart sensors need to be justified in literature (e.g., a small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) should not be allowed to send specific target confirmation messages from 10 miles away). During Phase II, the offeror will work towards demonstrating with real things during an operational exercise. Phase III will focus on transitioning the validated architecture and whatever part of the agent-based framework populated by smart objects is not currently fielded. Transition should be accomplished through redesign of existing platform and sensor systems, for example, to make them intelligent, enabled by the use of efficient communication protocols. Intelligent things are made possible by technology advances in four areas: 1) inexpensive sensors and actuators, 2) growth in wireless networks and addresses (IPv6), 3) gains in computing power and storage, and 4) advanced analytic methods including machine learning. IoT devices are used for commercial applications such as home security, healthcare devices, factory production, tracking cargo, autonomous vehicles, electrical grids, etc. Problems remain in standardization, security, and privacy . Understanding how to move the technology to a military setting where bandwidth is more challenged requires development. The topic will focus on information technology to support operations in tactical settings by increasing the numbers of smart things that are capable of knowing how, when and why to communicate with other things. Future smart platforms and sensors will be networked, exchange data as needed, and act as an integrated system. Operators will be removed from being “in the loop” and reside “on the loop” where they oversee and manage systems. The system itself will be able to control operating parameters to provide self-awareness, self-prediction, self-comparison, self-reconfiguration, and self-maintenance . New methods are required for measuring effectiveness of these agile systems in defense and public safety domains. Military applications include personnel sensing, situational awareness, targeting, autonomous systems, logistics, and facilities management . Proposers should develop an IoT system as a cloud system with central and edge computing or as a deployable system with Wireless Sensor Network [5, 6]. Innovative science and technology (S&T) should advance the state-of-the-art in the following areas: 1) Data-driven applications or embedded automation and intelligent adaptive systems, 2) Data handling by intelligent things with adaptive workflows for mission tasking needs, 3) Operator means to selectively oversee and delegate control of system components, and 4) Methods to evaluate system effectiveness and resiliency. Work produced in Phase II may become classified. Note: The prospective contractor(s) must be U.S. Owned and Operated with no Foreign Influence as defined by DOD 5220.22-M, National Industrial Security Program Operating Manual, unless acceptable mitigating procedures can and have been be implemented and approved by the Defense Security Service (DSS). The selected contractor and/or subcontractor must be able to acquire and maintain a secret level facility and Personnel Security Clearances, in order to perform on advanced phases of this contract as set forth by DSS and ONR in order to gain access to classified information pertaining to the national defense of the United States and its allies; this will be an inherent requirement. The selected company will be required to safeguard classified material IAW DoD 5220.22-M during the advance phases of this contract.
PHASE I: Study possible simulations using multiple scenarios with differing measures of effectiveness, instrumented in a way that measures communication volume between things. Document smart capabilities given to sensors, platforms, and weapons plus the logic used by things to decide why/when/how to communicate. Identify metrics to validate performance of analytic processes with the goal of reducing technical risk associated with building a working prototype, should work progress. Performers should produce Phase II plans with a technology roadmap and milestones.
PHASE II: Develop a prototype and perform a field demonstration of the prototype, which may take place in concert with an operational experiment. In Phase II, the small business may be given access by the Government to subject matter expertise to help validate information sharing logic. The offeror should assume that the prototype system will need to run as an application in cloud architecture or World Server Network (WSN) of a large number of nodes and have matured a design for a responsive human computer interface. Phase II deliverables will include a working prototype of the system, software documentation including a user’s manual, and a demonstration. It is probable that the work under this effort will be classified under Phase II (see Description section for details).
PHASE III: Phase III will focus on transitioning the validated architecture and whatever part of the agent-based framework populated by smart objects is not currently fielded. The final system design must be capable of deployment. The system should be adapted to transition as part to a larger system or as standalone commercial product. Commercial interest should be great as the ever-connected world remains power- and bandwidth-constrained. The Phase III system should have an intuitive human computer interface, providing operator engagement but not overload. The software and hardware should be modified and documented in accordance with guidelines provided by market plan or transition customer.
1: Abdulrahman, Y. A. et al. "Internet of Things: Issues and Challenges." Procedia CIRP 2016, 16:3–8. https://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=Internet+of+Things%3A+Issues+and+Challenges+Abdulrahman+procedia&btnG=&hl=en&as_sdt=0%2C47&as_vis=1
2: Lee, J, Kao, H-A, and Yang, S. "Service Innovation and Smart Analytics for Industry 4.0 and Big Data Environment." J. Theoretical and Applied Info Tech, 2014, V94, No1 E-ISSN 1817-3195. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2212827114000857
3: Fraga-Lamas, P., et al. "A Review on Internet of Things for Defense and Public Safety." Sensors 2016, 16, 1644
4: doi: 10.3390/s16101644. http://www.mdpi.com/1424-8220/16/10/1644/htm
5: Palmer, D., et al. "Defense Systems and IoT: Security Issues in an Era of Distributed Command and Control." GLSVLSI 2016 Proceedings of the 26th edition on Great Lakes Symposium on VLSI. http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=2903038
6: "The Cisco Edge Analytics Fabric System." Cisco whitepaper (2016). http://www.cisco.com/c/dam/en/us/products/collateral/analytics-automation-software/edge-analytics-fabric/eaf-whitepaper.pdf
7: 6. Oteafy, S. M. A. and Hassanein, H. S. "Resilient IoT Architectures Over Dynamic Sensor Networks with Adaptive Components." IEEE Internet of Things J., 2017, 4, 2 doi: 10.1109/JIOT.2016.2621998. http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/7707340/
KEYWORDS: Internet Of Things; Cloud Computing; Data Science, Embedded Processing; Communication Protocols; Artificial Intelligence
High Throughput Testing of Additive Manufacturing
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Materials
OBJECTIVE: Develop, optimize, and demonstrate use of high throughput mechanical testing at key length scales to inform computational tools and rapidly determine effects of defects for additive manufacturing (AM). High throughput testing must focus on static and dynamic material properties equivalent to conventional American Society for Testing Materials (ASTM) tests.
DESCRIPTION: There have been significant advancements in computational modeling tools to correlate and explore the interactions of microstructure and material properties. In order to validate these computational tools, static and dynamic tests are used to provide statistically relevant mechanical properties across the material composition and processing space. In AM, this information is necessary to inform computational tools being developed. Conventional tensile and fatigue tests are time-consuming to fabricate and test for the desired compositional and process windows. Similarly understanding the effects of defects in AM requires testing at key length scales based on critical geometric features. New techniques for high throughput testing can inform computational models and key acceptance criteria for non-destructive inspection. Current testing protocols for qualification and certification are predicated on conventional test specimens and techniques for tensile (ASTM E8) and fatigue testing (ASTM E466). To fully develop and characterize material properties to determine critical acceptance/rejection criteria, specifications such as Military Standard (MIL-STD)-2035A use historically developed empirical data to identify key indications and critical size/morphology. AM is a new manufacturing technology that builds material up layer by layer and allows for new designs that could not be previously manufactured. However, due to the complex geometries and fine resolution features, both inspection and conventional testing of these materials are challenges. Currently, understanding the effects of defects in a new manufacturing process requires a large number of bulk test specimens to establish non-destructive testing acceptance and rejection criteria and may not be representative of the resolution in AM parts. High throughput testing has been heavily utilized in the pharmaceutical industry to quickly screen combinations for drug development. Similarly, there have been efforts within the materials community to use combinatorial analysis to identify promising new material compositions. However, these tests focused primarily on thin film materials and may not be representative of bulk materials. Similarly, there have been efforts in examining mesoscale tensile tests and correlation to larger ASTM-based best specimens. Mesoscale testing is currently limited by throughput due to the necessary care in specimen fabrication and testing. To realize fully the capabilities of AM, new high throughput test methodologies must be developed to test bulk materials at the critical length scales to enable accurate modeling and quantitative characterization and rapid development of design allowables and determination of effects of defects.
PHASE I: Define and develop a concept/approach for high throughput testing of metal AM to probe micro- and meso-scale features such as voids, porosity, and lack of fusion. Key features may be on the order of 50-100um and test specimen sizes should be greater than 200um in thickness based on current MIL-STD-2035A criteria. The concept must provide a 10x throughput improvement over conventional ASTM E8 and ASTM E466 tests. This may include design or adaptation of existing techniques or equipment to support testing materials directly from a build plate and measurement of key load/displacements. This topic will also consider methods for preparing (or extracting) test coupons with well characterized isolated defects for multi-length, scale model development. If awarded the Phase I option, the small business will demonstrate the feasibility of the proposed concept/approach. Develop a Phase II plan.
PHASE II: Based on Phase I results, develop, demonstrate, and validate the proposed high throughput test apparatus for tensile testing. Rapid defect characterization methods, before and after destructive mechanical testing, should also be considered in specimen preparation and testing for testing validation. The apparatus will be investigated for use in fatigue testing. It is recommended that the performer work with bulk material vendors/Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) to facilitate transition for Phase III.
PHASE III: Phase III will transition optimized high throughput testing techniques to commercial suppliers through bulk material vendors, OEMs, or other partnering agreement(s). Commercialization of this technology may be through new material discovery or rapid process development. Phase III will demonstrate the technology to Warfare Centers and other DoD production/maintenance facilities.
1: ASTM E8, Standard Test Methods for Tension Testing of Metallic Materials, https://www.astm.org/Standards/E8.htm
2: ASTM E466, Standard Practice for Conducting Force Controlled Constant Amplitude Axial Fatigue Tests of Metallic Materials, https://www.bsbedge.com/astm/astme466-standard
3: MIL-STD-2035A, Department of Defense Test Method: Nondestructive Testing Acceptance Criteria (15 May 1995), http://everyspec.com/MIL-STD/MIL-STD-2000-2999/MIL-STD-2035A_6636/
4: Slotwinski, John A., Garboczi, Edward J. and Hebenstreit, Keith M. "Porosity Measurements and Analysis for Metal Additive Manufacturing Process Control." Journal of Research of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, Vol. 119 (2014), http://nvlpubs.nist.gov/nistpubs/jres/119/jres.119.019.pdf
5: Lee, Jaewon. "Failure Mechanism of Laser Welds in Lap-Shear Specimens of a High Strength Low Alloy Steel." J. Pressure Vessel Technology 134(6), 061402 (Oct 18, 2012), http://pressurevesseltech.asmedigitalcollection.asme.org/article.aspx?articleid=1661606
KEYWORDS: Additive Manufacturing; High Throughput Testing; Tensile; Fatigue; Effects Of Defects; Non-destructive Inspection
Algorithms for Look-down Infrared Target Exploitation
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Info Systems
OBJECTIVE: Identify Physics-based novel signatures and develop data processing methods to exploit infrared (IR) imagery and motion imagery.
DESCRIPTION: Much effort in past decades was devoted to collecting signatures of ground-order-of-battle (GOB) targets in IR imagery, in order rapidly detect and identify targets from platforms operating near the ground, or looking at a high slant aspect from an airborne asset. The forward-looking IR sensing modality (FLIR) has been used for a large variety of target recognition applications. The advent of inexpensive IR sensors, as well as the availability of IR data from commercial satellites, offers new opportunities to extract important information about objects based on IR signatures. While the resolution of imagery from the visible spectrum is typically better than IR imagery, resolution for IR imagery can provide sub-meter ground sampling distances (GSD). Likewise, the kinds of targets and objects to which IR signatures might provide useful information have greatly expanded. While GOB targets remain of interest, many other objects can exhibit characteristics in IR leading to signatures for identification and exploitation. In addition, the growing importance of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and deep learning approaches can be used to augment the challenge of automating the recognition and exploitation of objects with particular IR signatures. To support these pathways, or other approaches, research is needed to identify objects that might provide distinguishing IR signatures, and to collect large numbers of exemplars to understand both the common characteristics of the signatures on a per-object basis, as well as the variability that can be seen both within the object class, and in “clutter” data outside the object class. Exemplars can be obtained from physics-based simulations, as well as actual collection against physical objects. Most of the enabling concepts will involve IR imagery collected in the 0.4 – 12um spectral range involving both passive and emissive phenomenology’s, and can involve multiple bands and spatial patterns. Temporal changes might be considered as well, in terms of change detection between collections displaced in time (for example, night time versus daytime collections). This topic mixes basic research to identify target types and specific objects that might be amenable to recognition by IR imagery, as well as simulation and/or collection of signatures, with training and testing to demonstrate object recognition capabilities. Test and evaluation would involve classic probability of detection and false alarm rate measurements (equivalently, recall and precision measurements).
PHASE I: Identify target types and objects for which IR spatio-spectral data can provide distinguishing characteristics. Generate and/or collect sample data, appropriately labelled for training, and provide a feasibility analysis for automated recognition using look-down IR imagery.
PHASE II: Generate and/or collect a wide body of data for training and testing, expanding the set of target types and objects, including clutter data, and develop performance figures under varying operating conditions and varying sensor types.
PHASE III: Recognition methods using IR, potentially combined with other sensor modalities providing discriminating information, can be used for a variety of applications, including diverse needs such as first-responder search and rescue, agricultural development, and environmental monitoring, facility characterization, traffic analysis, and endangered species management.
1: "The Infrared Handbook", W.L. Wolfe and G.J. Zissis Editors, Environmental Research Institute of Michigan, 1985.
2: "The Infrared and Electro-Optical Systems Handbook", J.S. Accetta and D.L. Shumaker Editors, SPIE Optical Engineering Press, 1993, Volumes 1-8.
3: "Atmospheric correction of spectral imagery: evaluation of the FLAASH algorithm with AVIRIS data," M.W. Matthew, S.M. Adler-Golden, A. Berk, G. Felde, G.P. Anderson, D. Gorodetzky, S. Paswaters, & M. Shippert, Proceedings of the SPIE, Vol. 192, 2003
4: "Full-Spectrum Spectral Imaging System Analytical Model," J.P. Kerekes & J.E. Baum, IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, Vol. 43, No. 3, March 2005
5: "Model-Based Approach for Thermal Target Sharpening," J. Michael Cathcart, B. R. Kocher, S.L. Otolorin, S.E. Lane, K. Prussing, December 2012, Electro-Optics Systems Laboratory, Georgia Tech Research Institute, DOE Grant No. DE-FG52-08NA28783
KEYWORDS: Machine Learning, Target Phenomenology, Algorithms, Infrared, IR, Sensors
System for Nighttime and Low-Light Face Recognition
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Sensors, Electronics
OBJECTIVE: The objective of this topic is to develop and demonstrate innovative technologies capable of acquiring facial imagery in nighttime and low-light conditions and matching the acquired facial signature against watch lists derived from current visible facial databases.
DESCRIPTION: The United States Special Operations Command (SOCOM) requires the tactical capability to identify hostile persons with a high degree of accuracy in a short period of time from communications disadvantaged locations. While emerging facial recognition technologies provide good performance during daytime conditions, nighttime and low-light performance is poor. Additionally, the current national biometric facial recognition databases and biometric face enrollment systems are based upon visible facial images, and it would be prohibitively expensive and unfeasible to create, establish, and maintain a separate nighttime/low-light biometric facial recognition database. SOCOM has the requirement for a man-portable nighttime and low-light face recognition system consisting of optical and sensor hardware and exploitation software for imaging and recognition of human faces. This nighttime face recognition system must be undetectable, (that is: low-visibility, Low Probability of Intercept, Low Probability of Detection, (for example: passive imaging, or with active illumination not detectable nor harmful to the human eye), at distances of a few meters to several hundred meters. It must not interfere with current SOCOM night vision sensors, communications, and other equipment. The system needs to be low size, weight and power (SWaP), and needs to have real-time facial recognition software capable of matching the acquired facial signature at nighttime against an onboard watch list derived from visible face databases. The system must be modular with respect to the optics, sensor, and processor (that is, different optics can be mounted on the sensor and different sensors of the same type can be connected to the computing hardware and recognition software). Modern imaging systems such as short-wave infrared (SWIR) cameras with active illuminators, thermal imagers in the midwave infrared (MWIR) or longwave infrared (LWIR) bands, and polarimeters may offer potential innovative technology solutions for the sensing component. Advanced deep learning and heterogeneous face recognition algorithms may provide potential innovative technology solutions for the processing and face recognition component, and should be coupled with the sensing component to form an integrated nighttime face recognition system. The critical technology challenge this effort addresses is high accuracy nighttime facial recognition capable of matching facial signatures acquired in low-light settings with templates derived from current visible spectrum biometric face databases. As a part of this feasibility study, the proposers shall address all viable overall system design options, including the collection of a facial signature dataset across the spectrum using contractor furnished and Army Research Laboratory Government Furnished Equipment (GFE) that includes: • LWIR division of time polarimeter, 640×480 pixels, 60 frames per second • MWIR/LWIR imaging polarimeter, 860×480 pixels, 60 frames per second • Area scan camera (CMOS sensor, NIR version), 2048×2048 pixels, 90 frames per second The collected facial signature data and associated documentation shall be part of the deliverables.
PHASE I: Conduct a feasibility study to assess what is in the art of the possible that satisfies the requirements specified in the above paragraph entitled “Description.” The objective of this SOCOM Phase I STTR effort is to conduct and document the results of a thorough feasibility study to investigate what is in the art of the possible within the given trade space that will satisfy the requirements for nighttime and low-light face recognition. The feasibility study should investigate all known options that meet or exceed the minimum performance parameters specified in this write up, and shall include the collection of face signature database across the spectrum (100 subjects minimum in Phase I) to assess the viability of various sensors/imagers (contractor provided and Government Furnished Equipment) and cross-modal matching algorithms for nighttime and low-light face recognition. It should also address the risks and potential payoffs of the innovative technology options that are investigated and recommend the option that best achieves the objective of this technology pursuit. The funds obligated on the resulting Phase I STTR contracts are to be used for the sole purpose of conducting a thorough feasibility study using scientific experiments and laboratory studies as necessary. Operational prototypes will not be developed with SOCOM STTR funds during Phase I feasibility studies. Operational prototypes developed with other than STTR funds that are provided at the end of Phase I feasibility studies will not be considered in deciding what firm(s) will be selected for Phase II.
PHASE II: The Phase II effort shall develop a detailed design and conduct a prototype demonstration of all critical technologies and attributes. The design development path to a ruggedized man-portable operational capability will be detailed. The Phase II effort will include expanding the multi-modal face signature database to a minimum of 500 subjects to demonstrate the accuracy performance of cross-modal face recognition using templates derived from visible face images.
PHASE III: This system could be used in various applications beyond the DoD including law enforcement and security.
1: S. Hu, N. Short, B.S. Riggan, M. Chasse, M.S. Sarfraz, "Heterogeneous face recognition: recent advances in infrared-to-visible matching", in Proc. IEEE Int. Conf. on Automatic Face & Gesture, 2017. http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/7961837/
2: X. Liu, L. Song, X. Wu, T. Tan, "Transferring deep representation for NIR-VIS heterogeneous face recognition," Proc. Int’l Conf. on Biometrics, 2016. http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/7550064/
3: N.D. Kalka, T. Bourlai, B. Cukic, L. Hornak, "Cross-spectral face recognition in heterogeneous environments: A case study on matching visible to short-wave infrared imagery," Proc. Int’l Joint Conf. on Biometrics, 2011. http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/6117586/
4: Hu, J. Choi, A.L. Chan, W.R. Schwartz, "Thermal-to-visible face recognition using partial least squares," Journal of the Optical Society of America A, vol. 32(3), pp. 431-442, 2015. https://www.osapublishing.org/josaa/abstract.cfm?uri=josaa-32-3-431
5: N. Short, S. Hu, P. Gurram, K. Gurton, A. Chan, "Improving cross-modal face recognition using polarimetric imaging," Optics Letters, vol. 40(6), pp. 882-885, 2015. https://www.osapublishing.org/ol/abstract.cfm?URI=ol-40-6-882
KEYWORDS: Nighttime And Low-light Face Recognition, Heterogeneous Face Recognition